Far too many New Jersey residents become victims of domestic violence. Whether the abuse is physical, emotional, or sexual, domestic violence of any kind can destroy a family and put victims’ lives in danger. If you are a victim of domestic violence, getting a divorce may be the only way to keep you and your family safe.

Divorcing a domestic abuser

If your spouse has abused you in any way, you may be able to file a fault-based divorce. While fault-based divorces are rare nowadays, “extreme cruelty,” or physical and/or emotional abuse, is one of the grounds for a fault-based divorce. Filing for a fault-based divorce may be beneficial for victims of domestic violence when it comes time for the judge to decide alimony. However, there is no requirement for judges to give a victim of domestic violence more financially in the divorce. Your attorney can review your case and help you decide whether a fault-based divorce would be in your best interest.

Domestic violence can impact child custody

A history of domestic violence in the household will likely be one of the factors the judge considers when determining child custody. If there is a restraining order in place, the parent who has the restraining order against them may not be able to see their child as much as they would have otherwise. The court will also protect the child by requiring supervised visits and limiting parenting time with the abusive parent.

Domestic violence can make an already difficult divorce even more complicated. A divorce attorney can advise you on what steps to take to separate from an abusive spouse in a safe way and ensure that you get what you need financially out of the divorce. If you have children, protecting them is the most important thing during a divorce, particularly if there is domestic violence in the home. An attorney will guide you through the process to help you do what is best for you and your kids.