Domestic Violence and Spousal Support – Impact on Alimony in Your Family Law Case

People get divorced for many reasons, including financial problems, communications issues, infidelity, and even domestic abuse. While some of these issues can be resolved through marriage counseling or individual therapy sessions, domestic violence is one issue that can’t be reversed and can have serious repercussions for the abused spouse, both financially and emotionally. Often, a dependent spouse’s ability to earn income is severely diminished after a divorce due to the fact that they gave up job and career opportunities in order to care for the abusive spouse or children. In these cases, a court may consider alimony, or spousal support, to help them maintain their previous standard of living after the divorce.

When deciding on alimony, a judge will take many factors into consideration, including the victim’s need for support and the abusive spouse’s ability to work. While the law does not require judges to award alimony, they will usually make an effort to ensure that the supported spouse can become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time.

Generally, a spouse who commits domestic violence will not be able to continue working after a divorce because of the physical and emotional harm they have suffered as well as the risk to their own safety. This can hinder their earning potential, which will in turn affect the amount of alimony they receive or must pay. For this reason, some states allow a judge to excuse an abusive spouse from having to pay alimony or will have a convicted abuser lose the right to receive alimony.

In California, a convicted domestic violence offender will not be eligible for spousal support. However, it is important to understand that a person who has been convicted of a felony offense involving domestic violence or has been given deferred adjudication for a threatening or offensive act committed in the presence of a child may have the right to rebut the presumption that they will not be eligible for spousal or partner support.

The type of abuse and the severity of the injuries can also have an effect on a court’s decision to award or deny alimony. Domestic violence can include not only physical assaults, but also emotional and psychological abuse. These acts of abuse can significantly interfere with a person’s ability to function, which is why it is so important to document any incidents of domestic violence during the marriage.

Domestic violence can have a significant impact on alimony rulings, especially in states like Florida where it is common for courts to award spousal support to victims of domestic abuse. It’s vital to report any allegations of abuse to your local family law court as soon as possible, as you can request a protective order and may need assistance filing other legal documents related to your divorce. An experienced Miami divorce lawyer can help you navigate this complicated process.

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