Domestic violence in a marriage can take many forms and represents an act committed by one of the spouses against their significant other and/or against the children they share. This type of maltreatment is directed at achieving and maintaining control and power in the marriage over the intimate partner and can result in the following:
- physical violence
- emotional abuse
- intimidation, coercion, and threats
- isolation of the maltreated spouse
- economic and financial abuse
Children can also experience domestic abuse, either directly or indirectly, as a result of one adult's maltreatment by their household partner.
Domestic Violence Can Play a Significant Role in Your High Net Worth Divorce
Florida is a no-fault high net worth divorce state, which means that domestic violence will not be the grounds for your divorce. From a legal standpoint, abuse will not be the reason invoked when you want your marriage to end. The union will simply be deemed irretrievably broken when you no longer feel you can stay married. You cannot file for a divorce based on your spouse's abusive conduct.
Nevertheless, domestic violence will impact numerous aspects of a high net worth divorce and benefit the maltreated spouse in terms of a divorce settlement. You need to know that Florida laws are designed to protect you during a divorce if you are a victim of domestic violence. Depending on the severity of your spouse's abuse and your need for protection, you may be able to obtain a restraining order. Should your spouse violate the issued order, they could get arrested.
Even though each high net worth divorce has its own specificities, there are three main areas that could be impacted in a direct and significant manner by a domestic violence claim:
- marital assets division
- spousal support
- parental responsibilities (child custody)
In an equitable distribution state like Florida, all marital property must be divided equitably between spouses. The judge can take into consideration the domestic violence matter when considering a reasonable division of assets. Consequently, the abused spouse may be entitled to a more substantial portion of any marital assets.
In Florida, parental responsibility is awarded based on what is in the children's best interest. Most times, shared custody is the goal in a high net worth divorce. However, a domestic violence charge is not taken lightly and will negatively influence such a right for the abuser. The judge has the means to restrict the timesharing and parenting time for the abuser parent or even terminate their parental rights altogether to protect the children.
When considering spousal support, the primary motivation is the financial need of the receiving spouse and the ability of the providing spouse to ensure payment. Florida courts do not usually consider fault when making decisions regarding alimony. However, domestic violence can indirectly influence the outcome.
Suppose the domestic abuse has impacted the maltreated spouse's ability to preserve their physical and emotional health or affected their employability or income-generating capacity. In this situation, the relevant facts can be brought up before the judge and will most likely influence the alimony amount.
The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Is Here to Help You
Breaking free from an abusive marriage might not be an easy thing to do. Many victims of maltreatment are afraid to speak up or ask for help. Still, a divorce can help you escape a toxic marriage and live without fear for your safety. You can protect yourself and your children while securing financial support and an adequate division of property.
The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary can assist you and provide valuable information when you need help understanding how to best approach the volatile situation you may find yourself in at the moment. Please seek assistance immediately if you or your children find yourselves in an unsafe situation. Mediation or divorce can prove to be the most appropriate or the final solution available.