This month is domestic violence awareness month in Alabama, which makes this the perfect time to discuss domestic violence and how it can affect a divorce proceeding.
Domestic violence is best defined as a pattern of violent or coercive behavior that takes place within an intimate relationship. While domestic violence is serious in nature, it can also include patterns of threats and control.
There are four basic types of domestic violence, as explained by Legal Services Alabama, which include: physical assault, sexual assault, physiological assault and attacks against personal property or pets.
Although women are often the victims of domestic violence, men can be victims, too.
When a spouse is accused of domestic violence in a divorce proceeding it can have serious implications on the case. The law affords victims of domestic violence certain advantages during a divorce, including automatic grounds to file an at-fault divorce instead of the typical no-fault divorce.
An at-fault divorce permits the judge presiding over the case to make the abuser pay additional support and the abuser’s child custody rights can be limited.
While victims of domestic violence should report the treatment to protect themselves and their children, there are also some cases in which domestic violence allegations are made unjustly in order to gain an upper-hand in the divorce or custody case.
When a spouse or parent is unfairly accused of domestic violence, he or she must take actions to protect his or her rights.
An experienced family law attorney can help both spouses who have been unfairly accused of domestic violence as well as spouses who are the victims of abuse. No matter which situation you are in, it’s important to have a lawyer on your side.