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NFL star Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson accused of spousal abuse

As readers in Sussex County may know, accusations of spousal abuse or other forms of domestic violence can turn a family upside down. These claims can cause emotional distress for victims and for those accused. Recently, such accusations led Evelyn Lozada, wife of NFL receiver Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, to file for divorce.

Lozada filed for divorce after only being married to Johnson since July 4 of this year. The NFL star is alleged to have head-butted his wife after an argument broke out between the couple. After the alleged incidents, Lozada went to a neighbor's house to call the police. Johnson was arrested and charged with Simple Battery Domestic. After the football player spent a night in jail, the judge issued a no contact order.

In Sussex County, those who have been victims of domestic violence can file a domestic violence complaint at the local courthouse. The complaint will be processed, and the case will be heard before a judge or domestic violence hearing officer. If the judge or hearing officer determines that the complaint falls within the guidelines for cases of domestic violence, a temporary restraining order (TRO) will be issued against the offender.

Afterward, a final hearing will be scheduled. At that hearing, the judge or hearing officer will hear testimony from the victim and the alleged offender before making a decision in the matter. Relief for victims of domestic assault can include an order for support payments or other monetary compensation, temporary possession of personal property, or conditions governing visitation by a defendant. A final domestic violence restraining order will be issued if required under the circumstances.

Spousal abuse can seriously impact the lives of those involved. Under New Jersey law, people have a right to seek protection if they believe they have been the victim of domestic violence. Likewise, those who are accused of domestic violence or spousal abuse are also entitled to protect their rights throughout the course of the proceedings.

Source: abcnews.go.com, "Evelyn Lozada Files for Divorce from Chad Johnson," Kevin Dolak and Sydney Lupkin, Aug. 15, 2012

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