Domestic Assault is an issue that comes up in our practice quite often. It comes up both in the criminal and divorce areas of our practice. Many times it is real and what actually leads to a divorce action. Some of the more frustrating cases are when a party assaults the other (or not) then calls it in as domestic assault. The standards are probable cause, which is low for an arrest. Then it takes time to unravel it all in criminal court. Especially when it is done out of spite, neither of the parties want to take it all the way to regular criminal jury trial, where you have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, because that takes a lot of time and expense.
Assault is found at T.C.A. Section 39-13-101, et seq. “Domestic Assault” is committed against someone who is a : (1) current or former spouse; (2) cohabitant; (3) dating or sexual partner; (4) blood or adoptive parent; or (5) adult or minor child of any of the above individuals. Related offenses include, but are not limited to: rape, child abuse, child neglect, child endangerment or false imprisonment.