Last month, we explored various techniques for proving that abuse exists within a marriage. We outlined steps such as keeping a journal, detailing any incidents. Then we helped explain the importance of direct documentation. This includes pictures, videos, police records, medical documents, bank statements, and so on. You should also seek help from any witnesses, such as friends or family members who directly observed your treatment.
Knowing how to prove something is helpful, but it doesn’t explain why you should do so. Divorce court judges can make decisions based on the safety and protection of abuse victims.
In this article, we reveal the potential advantage of making a domestic violence claim in your divorce.
Property Division Decisions
When there is evidence of abuse in a marriage, it can influence a court’s decisions about property distribution. Generally speaking, judges will consider any financial hardship the victim endured. They can also acknowledge that someone was forced to remain married through coercion.
Family courts can behave like civil courts when a spouse has suffered abuse. They can grant more property to the victim as a form of financial compensation.
Child Custody Decisions
In cases where domestic abuse is present, a judge can make dramatic child custody rulings. They always want the children to grow up in the best environment. Judges may award sole custody to the victimized parent, protecting the kids from potential harm.
The alleged abuser could lose all custody and visitation, or they may be forced to endure supervised visitation. In the most extreme cases, they could lose all their parental rights.
Spousal Support Decisions
When a divorce court finds a spouse guilty of domestic abuse, that abuser does not always face criminal charges. It is difficult to convict someone of emotional abuse, for instance.
This ruling could, however, affect spousal support. For example, the abuser could be barred from receiving alimony. When the court orders the abuser to pay spousal support, it can force them to pay more than they normally would. This is another instance where a divorce court can act as a civil court, demanding financial compensation for injuries.
Child Support Decisions
Domestic abuse, of course, usually extends throughout the household. If someone is abusive to their spouse, they are likely to be abusive toward the children as well. Science tells us that children are emotionally damaged even if they only witness abuse and are not directly harmed.
Depending on the severity of the abuse, the court may order a greater amount of child support from the abuser. It could even demand the abuser pay for long-term treatments, whether physical or mental.
Speeding Up the Divorce Process
Evidence of domestic violence can also play a role in speeding up divorce proceedings. The court can grant a summary divorce. This allows the parties to get divorced quickly with minimal financial costs and with no additional fees or paperwork. You can move on quicker without going through lengthy litigation.
Protective orders are often the result of a specific incident. If there is a pattern of abuse within a marriage, the court may include restraining orders as part of its overall ruling.
If you’ve been victimized by abuse in your marriage, Law Office of Tzvi Y. Hagler, P.C. can stand by your side. You can schedule time with us by calling (516) 514-3868 or contacting us online. We may be able to help you get a protective order if you are in immediate danger. Then, we may be able to help you begin the necessary divorce process.