Domestic violence can influence a number of issues during your divorce, including child custody, alimony awards, and property division. Unfortunately, many cases of domestic violence are the reason behind the divorce, to begin with.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and going through a divorce, hiring a family law attorney for assistance in regard to your rights can be beneficial. Some other information about the impact domestic violence may have can be found here.
Domestic Violence and Child Custody
Visitation arrangements and child custody are often a serious concern for parents who are trying to leave an abusive marriage. In the state of Florida, judges award the custody of a child by what they believe is in the best interest of the child. However, there is the legal presumption that the ideal solution is shared parental responsibility, this is not an arrangement that will be made if there is any evidence that it may affect the child in some adverse manner. Some evidence that may support this includes:
- Any conviction of domestic violence
- A history of behavior that threatens the child’s well-being or health
- Evidence of any domestic violence even if there was no conviction
In some cases, a judge may award one parent full custody on these grounds. However, any parents who are accused or convicted of domestic violence may still receive visitation time. This is a situation to discuss with your family law attorney.
Judges in Florida award spousal support in order to address any type of financial discrepancy that may be present after the divorce. When figuring out the amount to award for spousal support, the judge can consider a myriad of factors that are relevant to reaching an amount that is considered equitable. Even though most judges won’t consider the fault grounds, including abuse, there are some situations where domestic violence may wind up indirectly impacting this settlement.
When dividing marital property, Florida judges follow the equitable distribution laws. This means that the state law dictates that all property is divided fairly, but not always equally, based on a number of factors. While judges may not consider domestic violence directly when trying to divide property, any secondary effects, such as financial losses, career disruptions or lingering injuries may be weighted.
Receiving a Fair Settlement
The fact is, domestic violence can create a number of serious complications during the divorce process. This can make it challenging to reach a safe and fair settlement. With these issues in mind, if you have been a victim of any type of domestic violence, you need to think about securing legal representation. Doing so will help to protect your rights, as well as your long-term interests.
While no one wants to have to deal with a divorce and domestic violence, it is an issue that occurs often. If you need help with this type of situation, contact the family law attorneys from the Law Office of Jeffrey Thompson by calling 321-253-1174.