Domestic violence is an all-too-often occurrence in many intimate relationships, and breaking free from an abuser is critical not only for safety, but also from a physical, emotional, and logistical perspective. Finalizing a divorce allows domestic violence survivors to cut financial and legal ties with their abusers, move on with their lives, and perhaps marry someone new or have children with someone new.
Safety first, then divorce
Above all, your safety and that of your children is paramount. The prospect of divorce can drive an already abusive spouse into a fit of further violence and abuse, so take steps right away to ensure your safety.
While you want your freedom more than anything, ensuring that you are protected and safe is essential. Many times that may mean seeking an Injunction for Protection (Florida Statute 741.30) to legally require your abuser to stay away from you. Violation of such an order is grounds for arrest.
How domestic violence can affect divorce
Domestic violence is serious and is certainly a factor in how divorce proceedings can go. While no fault is needed to be attributed to an abuser in order to file for divorce in Florida, it will be evaluated as marital misconduct by the courts. Some of the areas that will likely be considered differently in domestic violence cases include things such as:
- Division of marital property, such as the family home or other marital assets.
- Spousal support to help you regain control of your life.
- Child time sharing – in cases of domestic violence, the judge may restrict an abusive spouse’s parenting time.
If your marriage has turned abusive, seek safety and then get help from us. Our team of experienced family lawyers will be by your side and advocate for you and your rights throughout the process. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.