Understanding How Domestic Violence Accusations Affect Divorce

Accusations of domestic violence are taken seriously in the Florida court system. According to FL Statute 741.28(2), domestic violence is any offense that causes injury between two people who are immediate family members, relatives, or those who reside in the same household. Domestic violence can include several criminal acts, such as assault, battery, stalking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. Domestic violence is a severe charge that will impact most aspects of your divorce decree, whether you’re accused of domestic violence or have been charged with it in the past. Here’s how domestic violence accusations impact getting divorced in Florida. 

 Time Sharing Agreements

One of the most significant ways a domestic violence accusation impacts a divorce decree is with time-sharing agreements between parents with minor children. Florida courts act in the child’s best interest when determining time-sharing arrangements and aim to protect children from harmful situations. While the courts desire both parents to be allowed to see their children and spend time with them, the child’s safety is the first priority. If you have been charged with domestic violence, the court will likely restrict time-sharing with your children with infrequent visits or supervised visitation with a court-approved supervisor. You may also lose parental responsibility, which is your ability to make decisions regarding how your children are raised. Parental responsibility is separate from visitation; you may have your parental responsibility rights revoked but can still see your children during supervised visits. 

Spousal and Child Support 

Courts consider the financial needs of your spouse and your ex’s ability to become self-supporting when awarding spousal support. If your ex-spouse shows that the accused abuse impacted their ability to gain employment or placed undue financial burden on the household, it could influence the amount and the duration of spousal support they receive. Child support payments are based on the time you spend with your children and your income. If the court mandates you limit time-sharing based on a domestic violence accusation, you may be ordered to pay more in child support. 

Equitable Distribution

Marital property is divided using equitable distribution guidelines in Florida divorces. Equitable distribution ensures a fair division of property rather than splitting marital assets down the middle. Abuse accusations influence how your marital property is divided during a divorce. This is particularly true if you displayed irresponsible behavior or spending that affected the value of the marital property or your financial situation.

False Accusations of Domestic Violence

A spouse may lie about accusations of domestic violence to gain a favorable outcome during divorce proceedings, such as being awarded primary custody and higher child or spousal support payments. However, lying under oath has many consequences, including fines and jail time. If a spouse falsely accuses you of domestic violence, they may be subjected to the penalties those charged with domestic violence would face, such as limiting visitation privileges.

Legal Help When Facing Domestic Violence Accusations During Divorce Proceedings 

Domestic abuse greatly impacts divorce proceedings in nearly every aspect. If you’re facing a domestic violence accusation while going through a divorce, ensure your rights are protected with representation from Remsen Family Law Firm. Call our office or contact us online for a low-cost consultation to discuss your case.