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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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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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