How Does Domestic Violence Impact Divorce Proceedings in New York?

How Does Domestic Violence Impact Divorce Proceedings in New York?

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If you’re the victim of domestic violence, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, domestic violence has remained a prevalent issue in today’s society. Whether you’re the victim of the abuse or the alleged perpetrator, it’s crucial to understand how domestic violence will impact your divorce proceedings. Please continue reading to learn the effect domestic violence will have on your divorce and how an experienced Nassau County Domestic Violence Attorney can help you today. 

Will domestic violence affect my New York divorce?

In New York, you can file for a fault and no-fault divorce. When you file for a fault-based divorce, the filing spouse holds the other spouse responsible for running the marriage, while in a no-fault divorce, no blame is placed on either party. In instances of domestic violence, many victims wonder whether they can file for a fault-based divorce on the grounds of this abuse. Fortunately, victims can cite “extreme cruelty or inhuman treatment” as the grounds for divorce.

Generally, domestic violence will significantly impact a judge’s decisions regarding the terms that will apply to the termination of a marriage, including property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. When there is evidence of abuse in a marriage, it can impact a court’s decision regarding equitable distribution. The court will consider the financial hardship the victims endured as well as if they were forced to remain in the union through coercion. That said, the court can grant the victim a larger share of the couple’s marital assets if it deems it appropriate as a form of financial compensation.

Moreover, in situations where domestic abuse is present, a judge will likely award sole custody to the spouse who has been victimized to protect the children from potential harm. The court’s primary concern when determining an appropriate custody and visitation arrangement is the child’s best interests, including their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The court will consider various factors to determine an arrangement that provides a safe and stable environment for the child to grow up in. Therefore, when domestic violence is present, the court strips all custody and visitation rights or requires supervised visitation. In severe cases, an abusive spouse could even have their parental rights terminated.

Unfortunately, when someone is abusive to their spouse, they are likely abusive toward their children. While this is not always the case, it can happen. Even if children are only witnesses to their parent’s abuse, it can threaten their mental and emotional well-being. That said, depending on the severity of the abuse, the court can grant a more substantial child support award.

Will domestic abuse impact an alimony order?

In most cases, an abuser can be barred from receiving alimony. When the court orders an abusive spouse to pay alimony, they cannot force them to pay more than they would because of their bad behavior. In addition, the court cannot award alimony as a punishment for one spouse’s bad behavior during the marriage. The court will grant it based on the financial need of the dependent spouse. Therefore, if a victim can demonstrate that the abuse they suffered has prevented them from being self-supporting, the court can award a more excellent alimony award.

For more information on the impact domestic violence can have on divorce, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted attorney from The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. Our legal team is prepared to guide you through this tough time.

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