Domestic Violence

Does Domestic Violence Affect a Divorce?

How Does Domestic Abuse Affect a Divorce?

Unfortunately, sometimes domestic violence must be taken into consideration in a divorce case when determining issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and visitation rights. It is essential if you are a victim of domestic abuse to hire a lawyer during this time to protect your rights, and any children, as you navigate this process. Today, we review how domestic abuse impact the divorce process.

Impacts Domestic Violence Has on a Divorce Proceeding

The courts take domestic violence very seriously as it can negatively affect the physical and emotional wellbeing of everyone involved in the dynamic. In some instances, a protective order may be filed, which can include the following orders:

Stay-away order

This requires the individual responsible for the instances of domestic violence to stay away from the victim’s workplace, home, and any other place he/she is known to frequent.

No contact/limited contact with a child

The court may also refuse to allow the abuser to get in touch with their child. This contact could also be limited or supervised, which is under the court’s discretion.

Domestic violence can impact the following areas of divorce:

Child custody

If there has been consistent domestic violence/abuse, it is less likely that the parent responsible for this behavior will obtain custody. If the instances of domestic violence are severe enough, the courts may award custody to the other parent and deny visitation rights. In other, less extreme cases, the court may order supervised visitation.

This decision is made based on the best interests of the child. Since domestic violence, whether witnessing or being the receipt of it, can negatively impact a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing the Court will often consider this is a main factor when determining custody.

Asset and property division

The court generally considers both spouses’ behavior to decide how to divide marital assets. It is possible that if the instances of domestic violence contributed to economic or financial hardship, that the victim of this abuse would be awarded a larger share.


If the domestic abuse related to economic or financial abuse, then the court may grant a higher amount of alimony to compensate the other spouse.

What Factors Will the Court Consider in a Divorce Proceeding Involving Domestic Violence?

The court will consider the type of domestic abuse, its duration, as well as its consistency. As domestic violence allegations are taken very seriously, the court will also require that there is evidence to prove said allegations. This proof needs to show what kind of abuse was committed and how it impacted the victim and the child either physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or economically.

The court will also determine how the domestic violence impacted the victim’s financial situation and earning capacity as well as if the victim attempted to save their marriage by waiting for their abuser’s behavior to change.

Consult with an experienced lawyer at our firm about your divorce case by calling us at (405) 294-1511 or contacting us online today.