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How Does Domestic Violence Affect Alimony Or Child Custody?

Domestic violence can have a large impact on many areas of your life. If you are going through a divorce and have experienced domestic violence, you need the assistance of a mature attorney who knows how to handle this problem with tact and strength. During a divorce, awards for custody and alimony are a concern, and domestic violence can have an effect on both.

Divorce cases can be stressful, and if you have experienced domestic violence, it can be a painful and emotional process. Victims of domestic violence often feel powerless. Contacting a Salt Lake City domestic violence lawyer can provide you with the support and legal resources you need to regain control. Emy Cordano has the compassion and legal experience you need to get through this process.

Domestic Violence and Alimony

According to the Utah courts, “[a]limony, sometimes referred to as spousal support, is the court-ordered allowance that one party pays to the other party for support while they are separated, in the process of getting divorced, or after they are divorced.”

Either party in a divorce may ask for alimony. Generally, the court will consider the parties’ standard of living at the time of separation to determine alimony. Among considering the parties’ financial conditions, earning capacity, length of the marriage, the courts have an additional set of factors for an “at-fault” divorce, typically used in domestic violence cases, those being:

  • One party engaging in extramarital sexual relations;
  • Causing or attempting to cause physical harm to the other party or minor children;
  • Causing the other party or minor children to fear life-threatening harm; and
  • Substantially undermining the financial stability of the other party

Alimony will not be ordered for a period longer than the length of the marriage, unless there are extenuating circumstances for doing so. Violence can be a mitigating circumstance that justifies a court giving alimony for a time longer than the life of the marriage.

Showing enough fault (chronic history of domestic violence) on a spouse will be justification to completely deny them alimony.

Domestic Violence and Child Custody

In Utah courts, when a couple goes through a divorce, the custody arrangement for their children can be determined either mutually by the parents or by the court. The courts will always consider what is in the best interests of the child.

Custody arrangements can become complicated, especially if one parent alleges that the other has committed domestic violence.

In typical custody cases, there is a rebuttable presumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the child. However, this presumption is overcome when there are cases of domestic violence in the home.

The courts will make a parenting plan in their final judgment, which is a plan for the parenting of the child and allocation of parenting functions. Domestic violence will affect a parenting plan. When determining a parenting plan, Utah courts give substantial consideration for any evidence of domestic violence, especially if there is a protective order in place or a protective order has been filed.

Domestic violence will substantially limit a parent’s custodial rights, or in extreme cases, the courts will completely deny custody to a parent.

How a lawyer can provide legal representation and support

It is important to seek help from a trained legal professional when going through a difficult and emotional situation such as domestic violence and divorce. Emy Cordano has the experience and discretion needed to handle alimony challenges and child custody cases involving domestic violence.

If domestic violence has occurred in your relationship, the consequences can be severe. Taking the first step of contacting a Salt Lake City domestic violence lawyer will help you regain control of your life. There is no reason to continue living in fear, Emy Cordano is here for you.

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