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The role of domestic violence in a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2022 | Divorce |

Some California residents who decide to pursue a divorce will do so because of domestic violence. While this can be a reason, it can also affect the orders issued around the divorce and the way the spouses relate.

Domestic violence and preliminary orders

If a person is seeking a divorce because they have been a victim of domestic violence from their spouse, they can petition the court for an order of protection when they file the original divorce petition. This order can be issued with other preliminary orders, such as custody and support orders.

Child custody can be affected by domestic violence

One of the areas which can be most affected by domestic violence is child custody. As a major part of the divorce negotiations, child custody can become complicated when there is a history of domestic violence within the last 5 years. To determine how this might affect custody, the following must be considered:

• Has a restraining order been issued against the spouse accused of domestic violence?
• Has the parent been convicted of domestic violence against their spouse?
• Has the parent been convicted of domestic violence against any of their children?

While a history of domestic violence might be used as evidence to prevent a parent from winning custody during the divorce process, there is a chance that, depending on some specific factors, the parent might be awarded custody. The first factor is the court’s determination that this is in the best interest of the child. The court will also look at their history of domestic violence, their adherence to court mandates and their overall behavior.

Domestic violence can affect both the legal proceedings of the divorce as well as the emotional aspect. The intense emotions that can arise due to the violence might interfere with negotiations.