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You May Need an Attorney and Not Even Know It

Problems With Not Revealing Domestic Violence In Your Divorce Case

by Barry Butler

Even a single instance of domestic violence can be enough to end a marriage, but there are other scenarios in which one partner is repeatedly abusive and the victim does not speak up. If you end up getting a divorce and domestic violence has been a part of your life, you might be inclined to keep this news to yourself — perhaps out of a fear of making the divorce messier than it has to be. However, not divulging this information can be problematic for a number of reasons. Here are some problems that can result from not revealing domestic violence during your divorce case.

It Can Affect The Outcome

Different states have different laws regarding acceptable causes for divorce, and these can influence how a judge sees your case. In a no-fault divorce, for example, a judge may agree that splitting all of your marital property 50/50 is the best solution. However, in the case of a divorce with fault — in this situation, in which domestic violence may have played a role — your judge may rule that you're entitled to more of your martial property because you've been a victim. Thus, failing to disclose the violence that you've endured could affect what you get out of the divorce.

It Can Change Custody

If you have endured domestic violence of any type and you have children, this is not a secret that you can keep. If you don't speak up about your spouse's abusive tendencies, your family court judge may rule that your spouse will get regular custody of the children. Even if your spouse hasn't been physically abusive to your kids in the same manner that he or she has been to you, it's possible that he or she could be emotionally abusive. For the safety of your children, you need to talk about the domestic violence that you've endured.

It Sends A Bad Message

Depending on the age of your children, they may be acutely aware of the abuse that you've endured at the hands of your spouse. Not speaking out about this domestic violence can send a bad message to your kids. For example, they might think that keeping quiet about such a topic is the best way to be, when it's obviously better to speak up. At this difficult time in all of your lives, you need to continue to think about teaching your children, and being brave enough to talk about this violence is in their best interests.

For more information, talk to a local divorce attorney.