How Domestic Violence Charges Can Affect Divorce

Every divorce can be painful and contentious. However, when a divorce involves domestic violence allegations, it is especially crucial to tread carefully and minimize combative interactions, if possible.

With this in mind, people affected by domestic violence allegations should know what the divorce process might look like and how they can protect themselves.

When there is a history of violence

When there is a history of abuse or violence, protecting the safety of the victims is critical. Some options to consider include: 

  • Securing a protective order 
  • Negotiating divorce-related matters through lawyers or the courts to minimize personal interactions
  • Creating a safety plan
  • Changing passwords to email, security systems and social media accounts

Additionally, in cases of domestic violence, cooperative dispute-resolution methods can be ineffective. Custody exchanges may need to happen in public; parenting time may require supervision. And securing financial support can be vital for victims of violence.

It is also important to note that state legislators are considering a bill that, if passed, would allow domestic violence victims to waive North Carolina’s one-year separation requirement.

If the allegations are false

Unfortunately, some parties make false abuse allegations against someone they are divorcing in an effort to “win” or to hurt their soon-to-be-ex-spouse.

Not only is it illegal to make these false allegations, but it can also dramatically impact the divorce process.

Someone who fabricates these accusations can be reprimanded by the courts and receive less favorable settlements. If this accuser makes a person seem unstable, uncooperative or vengeful, their parenting time and any rights to financial support could be in jeopardy.

Those who are falsely accused can be less motivated to negotiate settlements through mediation. They can also be angry and hurt, which can all but destroy whatever goodwill remains between the parties.

Protecting yourself through the divorce process

Whether you are divorcing a violent partner or your ex is falsely accusing you of abuse, domestic violence allegations can influence a divorce. Understanding this can help you make safe, informed decisions.

Protecting yourself and your family during a divorce should be your top priority; protecting your rights should be your next.

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