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San Jose domestic violence attorneysPeople can make mistakes or bad judgment calls for various reasons. In some cases, young adults may think they are invincible, not pondering the consequences of their actions. In other instances, individuals may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they commit a criminal act. Impairment is not an excuse, but it can cause people to do things they would not normally do when they are sober. For example, hitting their spouse in a fit of rage can lead to domestic abuse charges, even if it only happened one time. An incident that occurred in the past should not hinder someone from moving on with their life, which may include divorce. If a couple signed a prenuptial agreement, will domestic violence allegations affect the terms of this legal document?   

Prenuptial Agreement Terms

A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is a legal contract that a couple may choose to sign before they get married. This type of legal document is not required, but many couples like to create one since it protects their interests in the event of divorce. For a prenup to be valid in California, the partners must draft the contract per California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which outlines the rules and requirements for prenuptial agreements. A prenup typically describes how the following marital issues will be distributed if a couple legally ends their marriage: 

Domestic Abuse Charges and Spousal Support

California is a no-fault state, which means that one spouse does not have to prove the other spouse did anything wrong in order to legally dissolve their marriage. This statute also applies when determining the outcome of a divorce. Regardless of whether one spouse had a history of domestic violence, the court will distribute marital property according to the prenuptial agreement (if there is one in place) the same way as if there was no abuse. However, there is one exception to this rule in California, and it involves spousal support. 

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San Jose domestic abuse defense lawyerAbuse is something that no one should have to experience. It can leave lasting damage, physically, mentally, and emotionally. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, approximately 24 people per minute are victims of physical violence, rape, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. That equates to more than 12 million men and women over a year’s time. The term “domestic abuse” sounds physical, but it actually encompasses a number of different things. In other words, if you have engaged in any of the following forms of abuse, you could face charges related to domestic abuse.

Different Forms of Abuse

There are various forms of abuse that can lead to criminal charges, even if no physical altercations occurred. Before understanding which actions can lead to charges, one should know the different types of abuse, aside from physical abuse, to identify toxic behavior:

  • Sexual Abuse - This form of abuse is often attributed to physical harm in a sexual manner, but there can be non-physical components. Aside from rape and forced sexual acts, this abuse can also include severe criticism or humiliation from a partner based on sexual performance. Tampering with birth control may also be considered sexual abuse.
  • Verbal/Emotional Abuse - Verbal abuse involves the use of words and phrases to control a partner. This may include threats or threats. This type of abuse can be equally harmful as physical abuse even though no physical harm is done. 
  • Psychological Abuse - This is similar to verbal abuse in that it often includes harmful words from one partner to another. Making a partner feel “crazy” is one of the common ways this form of abuse is done. It can undermine the individual’s sense of self and reality.

What Does California Law Say?

In California, there are four definitions for domestic violence, some of which do not require physical harm to occur at all. If you have done any of the following actions, you have subjected your partner to domestic violence:

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