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How Does Domestic Violence Affect a Divorce in Alabama?

Ending a marriage is never easy, but this can be especially true when domestic violence is involved. 

Under Alabama law, the existence of domestic violence in the marital relationship can impact nearly every facet of a divorce, from property division to child custody determinations and everything in between. Thus, before proceeding, it’s important to understand the potential implications of domestic violence on divorce in Alabama. 

If you are seeking an Alabama divorce due to domestic violence, know that you are not alone. Use our guide below to learn more about pursuing a divorce after domestic violence and how to best protect yourself and your family moving forward. When you’re ready to get started, give the family law attorneys at Charlotte Christian Law a call at (256) 859-7277 or send us a message to discuss your case. We can help you fight to protect your rights and your family.

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Domestic Violence and Divorce in Alabama: An Overview

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence is the “willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” Tragically, more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence in the United States each year. 

While ending your marriage due to domestic violence can be scary and overwhelming, doing so is often one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. If you are a victim of domestic violence and looking to end your marriage, here are a few things you should know about how domestic violence can affect divorce proceedings in Alabama.

Grounds for Divorce

Parties to a marriage may generally seek no-fault divorce where neither spouse was at fault and there has been an irretrievable marriage breakdown. However, Alabama law also permits at-fault divorce in certain situations where one spouse’s misconduct caused the couple to split. 

Specifically, Alabama Code § 30-2-1(a)(11) states that courts may authorize a divorce “in favor of either party to the marriage when the other has committed actual violence on his or her person, attended with danger to life or health, or when from his or her conduct there is a reasonable apprehension of such violence.” If you are a victim of any of the foregoing in your marriage, speak with a qualified family law attorney to discuss your options today. 

Property Division

Marital property is generally subject to equitable division between the two spouses in a divorce. Equitable division means that the court divides the assets fairly, and a variety of factors determine this fairness. 

However, Alabama law further specifies that if a divorce is due to one spouse’s misconduct, the court has the discretion to award a greater share of the marital property to the innocent spouse.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most contentious parts of a divorce, when children are involved, is often the determination of custody and visitation rights. 

When it comes to making custody decisions during a divorce, the core concern is determining what is in the child’s best interest. As such, when domestic abuse is involved, Alabama courts will strongly consider this in determining which spouse is awarded custody. 

In fact, in any custody proceeding where a court determines that domestic or family violence has occurred, there is a rebuttable presumption that it will be in the child’s best interest to reside with the parent who was not the perpetrator of the violence. Thus, if you are the victim of domestic violence, there is a legal presumption that you should be entitled to custody of any children. 

Speak with an Alabama Family Law and Divorce Attorney Today

Family law is often complex and emotional. And while your divorce proceedings will eventually end, the result can have lifelong implications for you and your family. As such, it’s crucial to have an experienced and fierce advocate protecting your rights at every step along the way. 

When you hire Charlotte Christian Law, you can rest assured knowing that you are more than just a file to us. Rather, we’ve dedicated our practice to helping people just like you as they navigate some of the most difficult times in their lives. 

We have a team of skilled negotiators and litigators who will fight zealously for your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process. Talk to a professional from Charlotte Christian Law by calling us at (256) 859-7277 or contacting us through our online form.

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