If you have been the victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. Each year, millions of American are affected by domestic violence. Over the past couple of decades, every state in the U.S. has enacted laws to protect domestic abuse victims. If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are important things to know about how it can affect your divorce.
Filing for Divorce
In about a third of U.S. states, a no-fault divorce – one in which there is no blame attached to the break up – is the only option for divorcing couples. In these states, you cannot file for divorce based upon your spouse’s domestic violence. Maryland, however, is not a no-fault state. In Maryland, you can use your spouse’s domestic abuse as grounds for a divorce. Even if you live in a no-fault divorce state, you can still utilize evidence of your spouse’s behavior during the case.
Domestic violence can fall under various categories, including both mental and physical abuse.
Any evidence of domestic abuse can impact child custody. If a spouse is abusing a child or another person in front of a child, that spouse will less likely gain custody of the children. In many states, it hurts the abusive spouse’s custody chances even if the domestic violence occurred without the children’s knowledge. If your spouse has abused you, gathering any evidence of their behavior can help sway the court in your favor when it comes to the custody.
Courts may use various methods to protect children from abusive parents. Judges can order professional supervision during all visitation periods and prohibit overnight stays. They may also help protect the abused spouse by ordering that all exchanges of children take place in public, such as a police station. If you are in fear of your children’s safety, you must bring that to the court’s attention so appropriate actions can be taken to protect your children.
Division of the Marital Estate
In a handful of states, a court will consider a spouse’s behavior during the marriage when deciding how to divvy up the martial estate. Sometimes, the abused spouse will be awarded a larger share of the marital estate.
When an abusive spouse harms the other one financially, it will most likely affect alimony. For instance, some abusive spouses may not allow the other spouse to work, rendering them financially dependent. In these cases, a judge may award the abused spouse alimony.
Towson Domestic Violence Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles Advocate for Victims of Domestic Abuse
If you have been the victim of domestic violence and are in need of a skilled domestic violence lawyer in Towson, look no further than the law firm of Huesman, Jones & Miles. Call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. We have offices conveniently located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland and we serve clients throughout Baltimore County, Harford County, Carroll County, and Howard County, as well as the towns of Essex, Columbia, and Bel Air.