How Does Domestic Violence Impact Divorce Proceedings?

person with hands up blocking face

Unfortunately, domestic violence is an alarming and pervasive problem we often see in today’s society. That said, if you’re the victim of domestic violence, you’re not alone. It’s imperative to note that even if one spouse has never physically injured the other, their actions may still constitute domestic abuse under state law. When dissolving a marriage, instances of domestic violence can significantly impact the outcome of the divorce proceedings. Whether you’re the victim or the alleged perpetrator, you need to understand the effect domestic violence will have on your divorce. For more information on how domestic violence will impact your divorce, please continue reading and contact a trusted Pensacola Divorce Lawyer.

How will domestic violence affect my divorce?

When a couple decides to end their marriage, they will need to agree on the terms that will apply to the termination of the marriage. These terms typically include property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. If the couple cannot agree on these terms, the court will step in and make the final decision. The court will consider various factors when making these decisions, and if one spouse is guilty of domestic violence, it will significantly impact the court’s decision-making process. The courts have broad discretion when weighing these factors. That said, a sympathetic judge may favor the victimized spouse. For example, they may order an abusive spouse to pay more in alimony and child support so long as other factors justify such a decision.

In cases where a spouse has been convicted of domestic abuse or has been ordered to stay away from their partner due to a restraining order, this will weigh heavily on the court’s decision regarding the terms that will apply to the termination of a marriage.

Can domestic violence impact child custody?

Regarding child custody, the court’s primary concern is protecting the best interests of a child. Therefore, when domestic abuse is present, it will be a substantial factor that is taken into account when determining child custody rulings. Essentially, an abusive spouse could lose all custody and visitation rights. The court may order an abusive spouse to endure supervised visitation. In extreme cases, the court may even deem it appropriate to terminate an abusive spouse’s parental rights. The court wants to ensure that a child is given the best environment possible to grow up in and benefits from nurturing relationships.

As you can see, domestic violence can have a significant impact on all aspects of a divorce. If you’re facing a divorce, it’s in your best interests to contact a determined lawyer from The Law Office of James M. Burns, who can help ensure your safety and guide you through this tough time.