People get divorced for many reasons, and only a fraction of divorce cases in the modern world stem from abuse or domestic violence. Spouses growing apart, infidelity and even health issues are more common reasons for someone to file a divorce.
Domestic violence claims can quickly complicate an otherwise straightforward Florida divorce, especially if the couples share children. Some people will even make false or exaggerated claims of domestic violence or spousal abuse in the hope of skewing the outcome of the divorce in their favor and tarnishing their ex’s reputation or their relationship with any children in the family.
The better you understand how domestic violence claims could affect your pending divorce, the easier it will be to make good decisions regarding your divorce strategy.
Domestic violence charges or protective orders can impact who gets the house
When one spouse calls law enforcement on the other and reports an act of physical violence, the Florida police are likely to arrest the alleged offender when they arrive at the scene, even if the stories from the couple don’t add up or make sense. In many cases, the only evidence they have to go on in such cases will be the statements made by each spouse.
Although the courts generally require some kind of concrete proof for a conviction or a protective order, some people are able to lie their way through the process. If your ex had you arrested or if they secured a protective order against you, the courts may order you to leave the house for the duration of the protective order or the divorce, which could impact your claim on the house or at least its occupancy in the divorce.
Domestic violence allegations can impact child custody
The Florida courts want to make custody determinations that focus on the best interests of the children. For most families, those best interests include having time with both parents after the divorce, which may not be true in a case involving domestic violence.
When one spouse alleges that the other abused the children or if they claim that the children witnessed abuse between the spouses, that may be enough to impact how the courts split up custody. In some cases, a parent accused of abuse or violence may only get visitation. Other times, the courts will even supervise that visitation.
Defending against allegations of domestic violence and familiarizing yourself with your rights under Florida law can help you if you find yourself dealing with this complex issue during a divorce.