Domestic violence affects millions of American families each year, and
it can take many forms, including physical, emotional, and even economic
abuse. Over the past several decades, every state has enacted laws to
protect abuse victims, and many of these laws address how domestic violence
affects a divorce.
Filing for Divorce
In California, the standard grounds for divorce are no fault grounds. This
means that even if a spouse has been accused of domestic violence, the
divorce still proceeds based on irreconcilable differences. While such
an accusation does not necessarily affect the grounds for divorce, this
doesn’t mean that violent behavior has no impact on the proceedings.
Child Custody & Visitation
Evidence of domestic violence almost always impacts child custody. According
to California’s legislature, it is detrimental to a child if domestic
violence or abuse is perpetrated in the child’s home. As a result,
all court orders have to be made to ensure the safety of the child. If
a spouse is abusive to a child or to another person in front of the child,
that spouse is less likely to gain custody of the child. Gathering evidence
can help sway the court in the victim’s favor when it comes to custody.
Judges can also order that a professional supervise all visitation periods
and prohibit overnight visitation. They can also protect the abused parent
by ordering that all exchanges of children take place in a public place.
In extreme cases, the court may terminate the abuser’s visitation
altogether and award full custody to the other parent.
Domestic abuse can also affect alimony when an abusive spouse harms the
other spouse financially. Examples include not allowing a spouse to work
or keeping money away from them. A judge can thus award the abused spouse
a larger amount of spousal support.
These are just a few of many possible ways that domestic violence can affect
the process of divorce and the outcome of divorce proceedings. If you
need an experienced
Westlake Village divorce lawyer, please call me today to learn how I can help.
Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff today at (805) 633-4999 or contact me online.