When you have suffered domestic abuse at the hands of your spouse, it can be incredibly challenging to leave. However, for those able to secure a divorce, understanding how the violence you’ve experienced can impact the outcome of your divorce is critical. Additionally, if you’re worried about pursuing a divorce, Los Angeles domestic violence attorneys can help you navigate this process to help you feel safer. Keep reading to learn what you should know about abuse and divorce and what you can expect during this complex process.
What Is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is a term used to describe any form of cruelty or harm inflicted by one person on another. To be considered domestic violence, the abuser and victim must have an intimate relationship, which, in most cases, is spouses. This can include physical violence, mental abuse, emotional manipulation, and sexual assault. Additionally, financial abuse can occur.
The following are examples of domestic abuse common in marriages:
- Physical strikes (slapping, punching, kicking, pushing, biting)
- Controlling who the victim talks to
- Denying basic needs
For many victims of abuse, the emotional and mental violence is worse than the physical injury. Regardless, it can be incredibly difficult to leave these relationships, as victims often fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
How Can It Affect Your Divorce?
If you are getting a divorce, you may worry that you will not have protection from your abusive spouse, as California does not allow couples to file a fault-based divorce. Most misconduct, like adultery or abandonment, will not be taken into consideration during a divorce hearing. However, domestic violence is an exception to this rule.
When getting a divorce, you have the right to petition for a restraining order. This can help provide enhancement protection from your abuser. It’s important to understand that you often need to show that you are a victim, and photographs, video recordings, medical records, and police reports can help illustrate the violence you’ve endured.
Additionally, showing abuse can help prohibit your abuser from collecting alimony payments from you. Generally, if they have been convicted of violence within the past five years, they will be barred from receiving spousal support. Not only will your spouse likely be prohibited from alimony, but violence may also impact how the courts divide marital property. Though California is a community property state, meaning spouses are entitled to an even split of all joint assets, the courts can compensate for the victim’s damages and award them more property.
As you can see, many factors must be taken into consideration during this complex legal matter. At the Zitser Family Law Group, we understand the impact this can have on your life. That’s why our team is dedicated to fighting for your rights if you’ve suffered due to the malice of another. Contact our team today to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.