Injured man

How Abuse Allegations Affect Divorce Proceedings

Domestic violence and abuse are serious problems affecting millions of households across the nation. As a response, laws have been enacted to protect victims of abuse and domestic violence. It can also impact court decisions in divorce proceedings.

No-Fault Divorce

Missouri is a no-fault state, meaning a person can file for divorce without attaching blame to someone for the breakup. You would only need to state that your marriage is irretrievably broken and meet the residency requirements.

In fault-based states, a judge can consider marital fault when deciding whether to grant a divorce. One of the most common fault-based grounds is adultery or abandonment.

4 Ways Abuse Allegations Impact Divorce

Even though Missouri is a no-fault state, it does not mean that issues like abuse and domestic violence are not considered during the divorce process.

  • Division of marital property: In many states, courts will look at a spouse’s behavior to determine how to divide the marital assets. For example, if one spouse abused the other spouse, affecting their ability to maintain employment, the court may award the victim a greater share of the property.

  • Child custody: When children are involved, their safety and wellbeing are always prioritized. If a parent is abusive to the child or another person in front of the child, they will be less likely to receive custody. It’s critical to gather evidence to present to the court. Based on those findings, they can order protections and award full custody to the non-abusive parent.

  • Spousal maintenance and child support payments: Domestic violence is most likely to affect alimony. In many situations, the abusive spouse harms the other’s ability to earn their own money and provide for themselves to make them financially dependent. Abuse can also increase the likelihood of someone receiving child support payments.

Contact the Attorneys at Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices

When topics of domestic violence or abuse come up in divorce, you must have the right attorney by your side to guide you through the process. In some cases, one spouse may actually make false allegations to get back at their spouse and better their chances of a desired outcome. This can have a devastating impact on the parent who is being falsely accused, but there is hope. Whether you need help proving your spouse’s abuse or need to clear your name, our team at Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices will be there for you.

Contact our Columbia law offices today at (573) 279-1349 to schedule a consultation.