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How Do Domestic Violence Allegations Affect Florida Divorce?
Getting a divorce is never easy, but if your soon-to-be ex-spouse decides to make allegations of domestic violence (whether true or false), the process can become even more heated and complex. Because of its potential to harm society as a whole, allegations of domestic violence are taken very seriously in Florida, and if convicted, the sentences can be harsh. If criminal proceedings happen in the midst of a divorce, it can also lead to consequences in that arena.
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Florida, there are three major areas of your divorce that can be affected, even if you are ultimately found not guilty of any charges. The first is alimony – which, depending on the specific facts of your situation, is already becoming more and more difficult to get in a Florida divorce. As the number of women in the workforce has equaled and even surpassed men (58.4 percent of the workforce is female, as of September 2022), more and more judges have begun to see alimony as superfluous.
The second divorce issue that can be affected by domestic violence is property division and asset distribution. Florida follows the equitable distribution system of property distribution during divorce, which means that all marital property is divided equitably (fairly), rather than 50-50 between the spouses. If there is a showing of domestic violence in the marriage, it is not inconceivable that a judge would order a victim a greater share of the marital property.
Child Custody or Parenting Time
While it is true that Florida is a no-fault state for purposes of divorce, this does not mean that allegations of domestic violence may not have serious fallout for the accused, even if they are not convicted of any crime. This is perhaps most often seen in the arena of child custody (referred to as parenting time or time-sharing in Florida statutes). Normally, the state pushes for a child to have a relationship with both parents, given that two-parent households usually yield better outcomes for the children.
That said, there are exceptions, and perhaps the primary exception is in cases of domestic violence. Florida law’s primary aim in regulating divorce is to act in the best interests of any children of the marriage, and if there is evidence of child abuse or domestic violence on the part of one parent, there will be a rebuttable presumption that custody is not in the child’s best interest.
Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney
Allegations of domestic violence are serious at any point, but during a divorce the stakes are raised even higher. If you have been accused of this type of offense and are worried about your divorce, contacting a West Palm Beach criminal attorney can help to ease your mind. The firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. is ready to try and assist you with your case. Call our office today at 561-721-0552 to speak to an attorney.