How to Deal with Domestic Violence in a Divorce
There are many reasons why marriages end, and domestic violence is a common one. When a spouse becomes abusive, many people realize it is time to leave the marriage, though doing so can seem like a difficult – if not insurmountable – endeavor. How will domestic violence impact your divorce case? Will the court believe you? Will you and your children be safe? All of these questions are completely natural in this type of situation.
If you want to learn about your legal options after experiencing domestic violence, you should discuss your situation with a compassionate and experienced divorce lawyer in Brandon, Florida. The legal team at Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A. is here to help. Every situation is unique, and we can provide guidance regarding your options in your specific circumstances.
First and foremost, if you or your children are at risk of further harm, you can seek a protective order from the court. Our attorneys regularly help people obtain emergency orders to protect them while they wait for their hearing. At the hearing, your abuser will have the opportunity to defend themselves and fight against the protective order. It is important to have the right representation to ensure that you receive the protective order with terms that will shield you and your children from future abuse.
Discuss Custody Concerns
If your spouse has become abusive, you naturally might fear leaving your child alone with them. However, many people who have engaged in abusive conduct get custody rights of their child. Custody decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child, and this can be a complex determination by the court.
If you seek sole custody, chances are your spouse will challenge it and try to retain some custody rights. The court can evaluate the entire situation, including:
- Whether any domestic violence was directed toward the child
- Whether the child witnessed your spouse being violent toward you
- Whether the incident was isolated or happened long ago
- Whether there seems to be a current threat from your spouse to the child’s safety and well-being
Sometimes, if the parent does not seem to pose an immediate threat, the court might find that preserving the parent-child relationship is in the child’s best interests. The judge can require parenting classes, anger management treatment, supervised visits, and more, though sole custody is not always awarded in divorce cases involving domestic violence, and you should have a lawyer aggressively protecting you and your child.
Contact Our Brandon Divorce Lawyers to Discuss Your Situation Today
At the law firm of Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A., our divorce attorneys in Brandon, Florida, are committed to representing the rights of all clients facing divorce, especially victims of domestic violence. We know how terrifying this experience can be, and we help clients end their marriages to abusers on a regular basis. We are here to support you throughout the divorce process, so please call 813-654-3444 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help today.