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How Can a Domestic Violence Charge or Conviction Affect My Divorce?

Posted on in Domestic Violence

Domestic ViolenceIf you are going through a divorce, being accused of domestic violence can negatively impact your case. Many people incorrectly believe that domestic violence charges are only addressed in criminal court and will have no bearing on a family law case. However, that is far from the truth. A mere allegation of domestic violence can affect the amount you may be required to pay in spousal and child support and can restrict your child custody and visitation rights.

Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time)

If there is a domestic violence charge against you while you are going through divorce proceedings, you could lose custody of your children. Whether you are being accused of abusing either your spouse or your children is irrelevant. Any alleged abuse committed against family members may result in the court finding that there is a rebuttable presumption that you are an unfit parent. In addition, because the court is committed to protecting the best interests of children, you may not be awarded custody if the court believes it would be against your children’s best interests.  

If you are not granted child custody, you may share parenting time with the other parent. However, if you are accused or convicted of family violence, then the visits with your child could be significantly limited in length and frequency. In addition, you may be required to have your visits supervised by a neutral third party. 

Spousal Support

If you are convicted of domestic violence against your spouse during a divorce, you may be required to pay him or her support money. When the court calculates the amount in spousal support you or your spouse should pay, factors such as evidence or history of domestic violence are considered. Keep in mind that the judge presiding over your divorce case may not order your spouse to pay you support if you have been convicted of abusing that spouse.

Child Support and Other Payments

Your spouse may file for a restraining order against you, and this restraining order can require you to pay child support. You may also be required to pay your spouse’s attorney and legal fees throughout the divorce proceedings.  

Contact a San Jose Domestic Violence Lawyer

If you have been convicted or accused of domestic violence within the past five years and you are filing for a divorce, you should contact our skilled San Jose domestic violence attorney at the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson. Attorney Erik Johnson has significant experience in both criminal and family law, so he has the unique ability to help mitigate the impact of criminal charges on your family court case. 


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