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The impact of domestic violence on divorce proceedings

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2023 | Domestic Violence

Leaving your partner because of domestic violence is often complex and emotionally charged. It can become even more difficult when you must negotiate the terms of your divorce with an abusive spouse.

Understanding how domestic violence impacts divorce can help you navigate this challenging time.

Protection orders

You may decide to pursue a restraining order against your spouse. Also called an order of protection, this legal order prohibits the alleged abuser from contacting or approaching you. If you have children together, the restraining order may apply to contact with the children.

These allegations can also influence child custody decisions. Courts prioritize the safety and well-being of the children involved, so domestic violence is a serious concern.

Spousal support and property division

Domestic violence allegations may influence the financial aspects of divorce. Courts consider factors such as financial contributions, the length of the marriage and the standard of living. The judge may also account for incidents of domestic violence when assessing asset division and spousal support.

Child custody

It is difficult to overstate the impact of domestic violence on individuals and families. Both the abused person and their children may experience trauma in this situation.

The court will carefully evaluate the emotional well-being of children when deciding on child custody. The child’s best interest is the primary concern. The judge may order supervised visitation or limit the alleged abuser’s parenting time.

Need for support services

Individuals facing spousal domestic violence often require additional support and resources. Counseling, therapy and groups can help you cope with the emotional aftermath and regain a sense of control over your life.

Criminal charges

You may decide to file criminal charges for domestic violence. If convicted, your spouse could receive legal penalties such as fines and jail time.

Psychology Today reports that 20% of adult relationships involve an abusive partner. Divorce provides a path out of this dangerous situation and protects you from the impact of violence.