How Does Domestic Violence Impact Divorce Proceedings?
If one spouse is accused of or caught committing domestic violence, that can certainly affect how a divorce plays out. If your partner has been violent towards you, our Chatham divorce attorneys can help you figure out the best way to proceed with your divorce. We can also help you fight for an outcome that keeps you and your family safer.
What Can Be Considered Domestic Violence?
Even if your partner has not hit you, they can still be accused of domestic violence. DV is a wide umbrella that covers behaviors like:
- Restraining someone
- Making threats
- Harassing someone
You can even accuse your spouse of domestic violence if they are being abusive via text or social media.
Is Domestic Violence Grounds for Divorce in NJ?
It makes sense to divorce a spouse because they are treating you poorly. Domestic violence can be grounds for divorce. It is usually considered “extreme cruelty.”
However, it is important to note that opting for a fault divorce can have its own downsides. You would have to prove your claim in court. Even if you do have evidence, this can be a stressful situation. Court records are kept when you go through a divorce and some people are simply not ready to reveal this much about their marriage.
We can talk things over with you and help you figure out the best path forward for your family. We understand how difficult this can be and that you may want to hold your partner accountable for how they have behaved and hurt you.
Will a History of Domestic Violence Affect a Divorce Settlement?
If you do decide to bring up the domestic violence in the divorce, it could affect some parts of the settlement. Perhaps unsurprisingly, child custody and visitation agreements are likely to be affected. If your spouse is convicted, charged, or credibly accused of DV, it could be harder for them to secure custody or visitation rights. They may need to have supervised visitation until they complete classes or another court-ordered treatment.
As for property distribution, New Jersey courts always try to split up property in an equitable way. If your spouse’s behavior affected the value of your property or they abused you financially, this could mean a more favorable arrangement for you when the property is divided up. This is not a certainty though.
Finally, alimony arrangements could also be affected if there are accusations of DV. Judges have broad discretion here, so they could factor in any violent behavior from your spouse. This could be especially likely if their behavior stopped you from supporting yourself, like if they harmed you and made it difficult for you to work.
Talk to a Family Lawyer Today
When you are ready to file for divorce, contact Lazor Rantas, PC. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about how our compassionate and experienced lawyers can be of assistance to your family in this difficult time.