How Does Domestic Violence Affect a Divorce?
Sadly, there are thousands of reported incidences of domestic violence every year in Tampa Bay. This can either be a civil domestic violence or a criminal domestic violence matter. This sometimes leads to divorce, which can have a significant effect on a divorce settlement. During divorce proceedings, a judge will take allegations of domestic violence very seriously. They will weigh it as a factor when making decisions on child custody, spousal support, and property division. Below are the four main factors affected by domestic violence during a divorce.
How You Get Divorced
There is more than one way to get divorced in Florida. Mediation and collaborative divorce are two options that are faster and less costly than litigation. However, these methods of getting divorced aren’t usually suitable for cases involving domestic violence.
Collaborative divorces and mediation requires that the parties involved are amicable, and willing to reach a decision outside of the courtroom. These methods of divorce should also not include one party having significant power over the other. Due to these factors, most divorce cases involving domestic violence allegations go through litigation.
Child Custody Matters
When a judge is deciding on child custody matters, they will consider all factors and make their decision based on the best interests of the child. In most cases, this means allowing shared parental custody. However, judges will deviate from this when there is evidence that such an arrangement could hurt the child.
When a divorce involves a conviction for domestic violence, evidence of violence, or a history of behavior that threatens a child’s well-being, a judge may award sole custody on those grounds. That doesn’t necessarily mean a parent accused of domestic violence will never see their children. A judge will consider the safety needs of the child and the domestic violence victim and may try to arrange visitation time.
Technically, judges do not take at-fault grounds into consideration when making decisions on spousal support. This means they will not necessarily consider domestic violence when awarding spousal support. However, they do take into consideration the physical and emotional well-being of each spouse, as well as their education and earning power. If any of these factors have been affected by domestic violence, a judge may award the victim more spousal support.
Like spousal support, judges don’t take grounds for fault into consideration when making decisions on property division matters. However, also like spousal support, if one spouse sustained injuries or suffered financially as a result of domestic violence, a judge will consider these factors and could award more property to the abused spouse.
Do You Need Help? Call Our Florida Divorce Attorneys
If you need to get out of a bad situation, our Tampa divorce attorneys at All Family Law Group, PA, are here to help. We know how difficult any divorce is, but that cases involving domestic violence present their own unique challenges. We can guide you through those to get your divorce finalized as quickly as possible so you can begin your new life. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation.