Domestic violence is devastating to the entire family. It’s a common factor in divorce cases, and its presence influences many of the court’s decisions on child custody and spousal support.
Understanding how domestic violence affects alimony decisions helps you obtain the support you need during and after your divorce. Family court laws related to domestic abuse will vary between states.
Consulting with a family law attorney is the first step in protecting your personal and financial well being and achieving a fair alimony agreement in your divorce settlement.
Domestic Violence and Georgia Law
Georgia state law views domestic violence as any act in which a person exerts some control or power over another individual. This includes physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual violence.
Domestic violence is typically seen between spouses. But acts of violence can also occur towards children, ex-spouses, and others.
The following can be characterized as domestic abuse:
- Assault and battery
- Damage to one’s property
- Stalking and trespassing
- Physical restraint
Victims of domestic abuse have the legal grounds to file for divorce. The willful infliction of harm endangers others and can affect their personal and professional lives.
Family court judges may need to issue a temporary protective order in cases that involve domestic violence that puts family members at risk.
How Domestic Violence Impacts Georgia Divorce
“No fault” divorce states are those in which neither spouse can be blamed for the separation. This prevents individuals from basing divorce petitions on domestic violence issues.
But Georgia is one of the many states that do allow you to use domestic violence as grounds for divorce.
Spouses who’ve been forced into a marriage through some form of duress or threat and those whose spouses willfully inflicted harm can use this as the basis for their case.
As a result, many factors related to your divorce will be affected by claims of domestic violence including how assets are divided and the care of children.
History of abuse can also be considered by the courts regardless of whether or not the abuse occurred during the marriage.
Protecting Your Alimony in Court
An abusive spouse is less likely to obtain child custody. Gathering the right evidence can protect children while ensuring that they remain in the custody of the supportive parent.
You may be entitled to a larger portion of the marital assets if there is evidence of domestic violence. Abusive spouses may neglect financial obligations or interfere with their partner’s employment.
These factors are used by the courts when determining how much alimony you’ll receive. Your attorney can help you understand the laws that let you defend your rights in a divorce case.
Spouses who remained in the marriage despite the presence of abuse can also receive more alimony when they demonstrate their reasons for staying. This allows them to obtain the assets and spousal support they deserve.
An experienced family law attorney helps you file your divorce petition, keep you and your family safe, and help you get the financial protection you need to maintain your standard of living.
Getting the right alimony can help you recover legal costs, obtain the skills needed to earn an income, and provide care to your children. Domestic abuse is just one of the many factors that impact your ability to secure these and other benefits.