The Impact of Domestic Abuse on Divorce

Minnesota, like many states, does not require individuals to cite a reason for seeking divorce. However, if there has been domestic abuse in your marriage, it could impact how the divorce process moves forward. Abuse victims can receive certain protections and benefits throughout the process.

The following are just a few of the ways domestic abuse can affect your divorce:

  • Property distribution/income: It’s possible that an abused party may be awarded a different share of the property or income in the event abuse has occurred, if the circumstances warrant it. Property division is based on the principle of “equitable distribution,” which is not to be confused with “equal distribution.” The primary factor is dividing property based on what’s fair given the circumstances — not necessarily a 50/50 split.
  • Child custody: Domestic abuse can restrict an abuser’s ability to get custody or even visitation rights to the kids. Courts are not going to do anything that could place the children in danger.
  • Court protection: If you have been abused by your spouse, you may also obtain special protections from the court. Ask the court to keep the spouse away with restraining orders and temporary protection orders. You can also get emergency orders of protection for your kids, if the abuser is a threat to harm the children.

For more information and guidance on how domestic abuse could impact your divorce case, consult a trusted Minnesota family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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