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Dispelling Myths About Domestic Violence & Divorce
By far, the most domestic violence claims arise out of incidents that occur between spouses – the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy estimates that as many as 20 percent of marriages will experience some form of intimate partner violence (IPV). That said, there are still several myths surrounding domestic violence cases that can affect both spouses’ lives moving forward, particularly if they plan to divorce.
Marital Property Divided Equally
Perhaps the most stubborn of these myths is the belief that domestic violence charges against one spouse will result in the other spouse automatically receiving an increased share of the marital estate. In reality, the law simply does not work in this fashion. Florida is a no-fault state for purposes of divorce, meaning that any ‘fault’ on the part of either spouse is irrelevant in terms of dividing the marital assets and debts.
The only real time that domestic violence might have any effect on marital asset distribution during a divorce is if financial abuse has occurred, causing dissipation of marital assets. Financial abuse or economic abuse is when one spouse controls the other’s access to resources, limiting their ability to leave the situation or seek help. It is common in domestic violence cases, and it may sometimes rise to the level of willfully wasting marital funds. In these cases, the victim may sometimes receive a larger share of the property, but is not guaranteed.
A Conviction Means No Custody
Another common myth is that being convicted of domestic violence will automatically preclude a person having any contact with their children. In terms of parenting time, it is true that a parent’s conviction for domestic violence will create a presumption that the parent having custody would not be in their children’s best interests. However, that presumption is rebuttable – in other words, with sufficient evidence that the child or children would not be at risk if the parent has visitation.
It can be quite difficult to rebut the presumption, as Florida’s public policy is centered around always (if possible) acting in the best interests of the child or children involved in these cases. But if there truly are extenuating circumstances to your case, or if the allegations are false, you and your attorney may be able to convince the judge that you pose no threat.
Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney
Facing charges for a domestic violence offense is a difficult position to be in – and if you are going through a divorce at the same time, you need a knowledgeable attorney on your side. A West Palm Beach criminal attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help with your criminal case and shoulder some of the load. Call our office today at 561-721-0552 to speak to an attorney.