If you were a victim of domestic violence during your marriage, the abuse will have an impact on your divorce process. The dissolution of a marriage is a significant step, and the court honors its duties to uncover and address every matter of a relationship in order to ensure that each party's rights are protected and that they are treated fairly.
Domestic violence has a lot to do with manipulation and control, even when the attacks only seem to surface in the physical form. Often time, the victim of the abuse is made to feel as though they are 100% reliant on the abuser, especially financially.
When the victim was either not allowed to earn an income or not allowed to control their own finances, the court can use this information to determine whether or not alimony is appropriate. Even if the abuse was not in a physical form, the court can exercise this right.
The greatest area of impact domestic abuse has on a divorce proceeding is child protection. In the most direct terms, if there is a history of documented abuse and the victim is seeking custody of the children, their request will be granted.
While it's important to note that the court will still weigh the victim's ability to care for the children, in terms of safety and financial means, the court is not in the business of granting an abuser custody. In this scenario, however, it's critical the victim be able to prove the abuse and not just make accusations.
Effects of Abuse
All forms of abuse have a lasting impact on an individual. However, there are some people who go through devastatingly traumatic incidents that forever change the course of their lives.
In these situations, the court can factor in the effects of the abuse to determine how the divorce should be settled, especially when it comes to marital assets. For example, if one spouse suffered physical abuse that left them with a handicap and the marital home is conducive to accommodate their limitations, the court might automatically award the victim the property.
The court does not take an across-the-board approach when it comes to domestic violence, so your situation might not mimic the examples of above. If you are in this position, it's generally a good idea to speak with an attorney about your situation so that you know how to proceed.
For more information, contact a professional such as one found at Katzman Logan Halper & Bennett.