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Chicago, IL, March 4, 2015 – Domestic violence issues during divorce cases have increased throughout the past five years, according to 32% of the attorneys responding to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), while only 6% have observed a decrease. In addition, 36% have noted a rise in divorce cases involving restraining orders, while only 8% cited a decrease. A clear majority of 63% of the nation’s top family lawyers believe that domestic violence should be more adequately addressed by the courts.
“Although divorce is one of the most challenging events that someone can experience, the unacceptable trauma of domestic violence can make the process truly devastating,” said James McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “We believe that the courts and all matrimonial lawyers, by virtue of our daily work with countless families throughout the nation, can provide greater leadership and support in helping to confront this issue.”
To better examine how family lawyers can help improve the legal system to better assist victims, the AAML has established a national task force. It has been empowered to actively explore collaborations with existing governmental and nongovernmental entities, address domestic violence in a variety of communities and provide education for judges, lawyers, legislators and law enforcement on ways to more effectively address domestic violence and its devastating consequences. The AAML has proudly stood as one of the earliest and most vocal supporters of the current version of the Federal Violence Against Women Act. The organization firmly believes that domestic violence must be recognized as not only a crime, but an insidious hazard to the well-being of children who observe and experience the trauma
Founded in 1962, the mission of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) is to provide leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law. Comprised of the top 1,600 matrimonial attorneys throughout the nation, members are recognized leaders in the areas of matrimonial law, including divorce, prenuptial agreements, legal separation, annulment, custody, property valuation and division, support, and the rights of unmarried couples. The AAML Fellows across the United States are generally recognized by judges and attorneys as preeminent family law practitioners.