Implications of domestic violence on divorce proceedings

Around 2.7 divorces occur per 1,000 people in New Jersey every year, translating to more than 25,000 divorces. Domestic violence acts as the primary contributor behind several divorce cases filed in New Jersey. Nonetheless, it is prudent to mention that domestic violence victims often act very late in anticipation of the situation getting better.

However, experts, like a Jersey City domestic violence lawyer, would always recommend you not to tolerate the abuse and reach out for help as early as possible. Moreover, if the abusive behavior of your spouse seems to get out of hand, seeking a divorce is often the most effective solution.

When should an individual file for a divorce

While spousal abuse is one of the biggest reasons why individuals in the US file for a divorce, there could also be some other factors that may lead to divorce; the reasons for divorce can broadly be bifurcated into two main categories, i.e., fault-based or no-fault divorce. Here’s how they differ from each other:

No-Fault Divorce

In a no-fault divorce, the filing spouse does not have to establish that they are victims of marital misconduct. It instead involves the filing spouse telling the court that they cannot reconcile the marriage, and thus, the same is over. 

Following are some common no-fault grounds on which a spouse can file for a divorce:

  • Differences that are beyond reconciliation 
  • Separation
  • Incompatibility
  • An irretrievable breakdown

Fault-Based Divorce

In case of a fault-based divorce, the filing spouse can allege that some kind of abuse has caused the marriage to break down. The filing spouse also may need to prove the abuse claim in court by presenting substantial evidence.

Following are some legally recognizable reasons for which a spouse can file for a divorce:

  • Domestic or spousal abuse
  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Felony conviction
  • Substance abuse

However, irrespective of the reason for filing a divorce, the first priority should be your safety.

Understanding how domestic violence can affect divorce proceedings

If you file for a divorce on the grounds of domestic violence, it can have a significant impact on your divorce proceeding. Here’s how it can change the course of proceedings:

  • Considering domestic violence and abuse as the grounds for divorce, the court may impose additional charges on the offender.
  • The court may also rule for a higher maintenance and alimony amount.
  • If the domestic violence has been proven, the court may prioritize giving custody of the child to a non-abusive parent.
  • The victimized spouse can quickly get a restraining order for protection and well-being.
  • The court may also rule out mediation and counseling in case you file for a divorce on the grounds of domestic violence.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *