How domestic violence allegations impact divorce proceedings

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2021 | Domestic abuse

One of the most difficult events a Kentucky couple can go through is divorce. However, certain factors could make an already challenging time harder. When one spouse alleges violence or abuse, this can evolve into a very emotional and complex matter. Not only do these allegations need to be established and weighed in, but if children are involved, this could also be a major factor when determining custody and visitation.

What does domestic violence look like?

While the state of Kentucky has an exact definition of domestic violence, this encompasses various acts or conduct. This could include physical abuse, emotional abuse, control and power play, threatening or negative tactics through children, economical or financial abuse, forcing gender roles, causing property damage and sexual abuse. Depending on a situation, one or a combination of these acts could occur, giving rise to the concern of domestic violence.

Impact of domestic violence during divorce

Whether or not domestic violence is the reason for a divorce filing, if a spouse asserts that it has occurring during the relationship, this could greatly impact the divorce proceedings. To begin, a protective order or retraining order could be put in place. Similarly, a stay away order or no contact order could be filed for. These orders seek to keep the abuser away from the victim, providing safety for the victim of domestic abuse.

If children are involved, these protective or no contact orders could include the children as a means to keep them safe from abuse or witnessing such abuse. Conversely, this impacts child custody. This could look like the prohibition of visitation, supervised visits or the prohibition of overnight visits. These decisions are based on the situation and the best interests of the children.

When it comes to the division of marital assets, alimony and other divorce issues, the fact that domestic violence occurred in the marriage could be a factor. Courts can take into account the behavior of a spouse during a marriage. This could result in a spouse that is a victim of domestic violence with a more favorable portion of the marital assets.

Domestic violence is a serious matter whether it occurs in a marriage or not. Thus, it is important that those involved in such a situation understand their options. This not only ensures that their rights are protected but could also help ensure the safety and wellbeing of their children.