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What constitutes a family or household member in domestic violence?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2020 | Domestic Violence |

Domestic violence is a crime defined by the fact that abuse must be towards a family member or member of your household. Understanding the charges against you requires that you know how the law defines a family member or household member. 

According to the Minnesota Legislature, for you to face a domestic violence charge, there will always be some type of relationship between you and the other person. 

Family member

A family member may be related to you through blood, marriage or choice. For example, your spouse is a relative by choice. Do note that a former spouse also qualifies as a family member. Your parents and other blood relatives also qualify under this definition. 

Your children, whether by blood, adoption or marriage, are family members, too. This includes unborn children and their mothers if you are the father. It also includes anyone you share a child with even if you have never lived together and regardless of your relationship status. 

In addition, anyone with whom you have had a significant relationship regardless of living situations is a family member under the domestic violence law. The court will consider several things to determine if you have a significant relationship, such as interactions you have had and how long you have had involvement with the person. 

Household member

A household member is easier to define. It includes anyone who lives with you or has ever lived with you in your home. The length of time spent living with you not relevant. There does not have to be a significant relationship between the two of you. You could just be roommates, but it still qualifies the person as your household member. 

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