If you have been the victim of violence at the hands of your spouse, this can be earth-shattering. However, if you can secure a divorce petition, you may have many questions regarding whether or not the domestic violence you’ve endured will affect your divorce. Luckily, the following blog answers some of the most common questions regarding this matter and explores how a Monroe, Louisiana divorce lawyer can assist you through these challenging times.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a term used to describe any form of physical, mental, sexual, or emotional abuse inflicted by someone with whom you share a domestic relationship. This is most commonly used to describe violence that occurs between spouses. Common examples of domestic abuse include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
- Slapping, hitting, punching, or kicking
- Shoving or pushing
- Throwing object
- Non-consensual sex acts
- Threats of violence
- Destroying the family home
Unfortunately, it can be incredibly difficult for victims of abuse to leave their abuser, as they may fear retaliation. It is not uncommon for violent spouses to threaten the lives of a victim, their children, or their family members. As such, many remain in abusive relationships out of fear.
Can It Affect the Outcome of My Divorce?
In Louisiana, you do not have to prove wrongdoing by one spouse to secure a divorce. This is because the state has a no-fault divorce option. Essentially, as long as you have lived separately for six months, you can file for divorce without proving fault.
However, Louisiana is one of few states that accepts fault-based divorces. Additionally, these grounds for divorce may impact how this process goes. If you file a protective order against your spouse, it may speed up the process of receiving a divorce and help secure a criminal conviction for the abuse you’ve endured. Additionally, this document can provide extra protection for your spouse, including ordering them to vacate the family home, child support, and likely spousal support. This is because the law states that if one spouse is a victim of violence, they are entitled to spousal support.
You may find that instances of abuse toward you or the children at the hands of your spouse will result in you receiving full custody. This is because the courts will consider what’s in the best interest of the children, and allegations or convictions of abuse by one spouse will be taken very seriously.
If you’re a victim of abuse seeking a divorce, the team at Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson is ready to help. We understand that this can be an exceptionally difficult process for those involved. As such, we will do everything in our power to help you during these challenging times. Contact us today to learn how we can represent you through these challenging times.