In some situations, violence in the home can not only affect the relationship between family members, but it can lead to adverse decisions in a divorce proceeding.
An allegation of domestic violence can affect the court’s decision about the division of marital property. Marital property is to be divided between the spouses in an equitable, or fair, way. It is well within a court’s discretion to apportion a larger share of the assets to the spouse who was the victim of domestic violence.
Domestic violence allegations can also affect decisions about alimony. Alimony is used to level the playing field where one spouse has a financial need and the other spouse has the ability to pay. Domestic violence can make the financial disparity between spouses greater. This is especially true if the violence had a particular impact on the abused spouse’s education, career or ability to make money and may result in larger alimony payments than would otherwise be due.
Perhaps the most profound impact of an allegation of domestic violence is in the area of child custody. Evidence of domestic violence by one spouse will make it less likely that the accused will be granted custody of the children. In extreme cases, only supervised visitation may be allowed, meaning another trusted family member or social worker must be present during visits with the child. If the evidence shows that domestic violence was aimed specifically at the children, the alleged abuser may even be denied even visitation rights outright.
If a spouse feels themselves to be in danger of domestic abuse, they may also seek a protective order from the court, which would be handled separately from a divorce proceeding. The entry of a protective order against one spouse, especially a final protective order, may be taken into consideration by the judge determining certain aspects of the divorce case.
Under Oklahoma law domestic violence can be physical or psychological, and can be a basis for an “at-fault” divorce, although Oklahoma also allows for a “no-fault” divorce, where the only basis is “irreconcilable differences” between the parties. An experienced Oklahoma family law attorney can take a look at your situation and advise you on how best to proceed.
At Lindsey Law Firm, P.C. in Tulsa, Mr. Lindsey understands that a divorce proceeding that involves an allegation of domestic violence can get very confrontational very fast. In such a situation, you want an experienced attorney who can protect your rights in a professional way. Call the Lindsey Law Firm, P.C. at 918-587-0097 or contact the firm online to schedule your free initial consultation at our Tulsa office.