Recently, domestic violence has risen to the forefront of media attention, and awareness of the problem has skyrocketed. Domestic violence is the abuse of a party in a married or intimate relationship with the other, and in most cases, it is the woman who receives the abuse. In almost all cases being in a situation of domestic violence means you should get out, even if that means a divorce. An individual may be hesitant to get out of an abusive marriage if there are children, but studies have shown the long-term effects of being around domestic violence can be detrimental to the child. Many people who become abusive later in life witnessed it growing up. The negative long-term effects for both the abused party and the family often make it worth it to get out of that relationship.
While getting out of that relationship is often the best move, it is not always the easiest. The victim may receive threats, be stalked, or attempt to be intimidated by their spouse. People also worry about what will happen to their finances and property in a divorce like this. New York is usually a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, meaning that a party can get a divorce for whatever reason. In a no-fault divorce, the abuse will not be taken into account and could impact what you receive in the divorce. But fortunately, there are instances when a fault-based divorce can be pursued. One of the instances that the law allows for is when domestic violence is present, and it has made the home unsafe to live in. There are instances where the court will also side with the victim and allot more of the estate to the victim. Take for example, if the victim had to move to another state to get away from the other party; in a case like this, it is not uncommon to see the court award more of the marital estate to the victim.
Another concern that may be raised is what will happen to the custody of my child? The good news is that the court will take into consideration abuse, in this case, no matter what type of divorce filings were made. It is wise to gather evidence of the abuse of the court, as that will significantly help your fight. Depending on the court and severity of the abuse, there may be special court orders placed on visitation rights to the child, and in some extreme cases, the victim will get full custody.
What Should I Do?
If you have decided that divorce is the best option for you, the first step is to talk to a divorce attorney to evaluate your case. At the Levoritz Law Group, we offer some of the most experienced divorce attorneys in New York. If you are concerned for your safety, there are court protection orders that can be applied for to help protect you as your divorce goes through. Remember, it is important that you have some sort of evidence of domestic violence to help your case, but if the situation is extreme do not hesitate to get out as quickly as possible. Your safety is of the utmost importance, so if you find yourself in an abusive situation, please contact us and let us help you get out of that situation.