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How domestic violence can affect divorce proceedings

Individuals living in Arizona may not be entirely aware of how domestic violence can affect divorce proceedings. Domestic violence can constitute grounds for a divorce, and in some situations, it can also serve as fault. Additionally, domestic violence instances may also affect how a property is divided and how child custody and support are determined.

In a divorce in which marital fault is considered, there must have been more than one episode of domestic violence. While the victim does not have to give proof of a pattern of abuse, they may have to prove that it did not take place as one isolated incident.

While most states do not consider the couple's conduct during the process of property division, some states will take the abuse into consideration. If the abuse placed extra financial burden on the victim, via medical bills, for example, the court may consider this when dividing the couple's property. Additionally, if the violence caused a dissipation of the couples marital assets, this might also be considered.

Domestic abuse may also have an effect on matters of child custody. A parent who is known for being abusive may be denied not only custody but also any visitation rights to the child. However, a non-custodial parent with a history of violence will still have to pay child support should the court order it.

Someone who has suffered domestic violence and wishes to file for divorce may wish to work with a lawyer. A lawyer may be able to assist a client in filing a protective order and determining what steps to take in filing for divorce.

Source: Divorce Support, "Domestic Violence", September 15, 2014

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