Does Domestic Violence Affect Spousal Support?

It would seem logical that if during the marriage, a spouse was the victim of domestic violence, then during the divorce trial, and more specifically, when hashing out support payments, that would be a mitigating factor. And to some extent, the court usually takes into consideration the devastating effect that domestic violence can have on a person, not just emotionally and psychologically, but also in their every-day lives. For instance, the court recognizes that domestic violence can greatly affect a spouse’s ability to get a job and have a career because of the toll that domestic violence can have. The actions that a spouse commits on another can often negatively affect the other’s earning capability. Because the repercussions of spousal abuse and misconduct can have such an impact, don’t hesitate to bring it up to your attorney or in court, not only because of how it may impact spousal support, but also because it is something that should be addressed and not be brushed under the table.

While that is as far as most courts will consider domestic violence as a factor in spousal maintenance, it does have an impact on child support as well. In Family Court, a common form of relief is an Order of Protection. Not only does it help settle child custody battles, it also can include child support. While some courts initially grant a temporary order of protection, a more permanent one can be granted from one to three years.  Sometimes this order can include that the abuser pays the medical expenses for treatment that arise from the incident, as well as housing costs, and, as mentioned earlier, temporary child custody and an award of child support.

Paul E. Rudder, Esq. is a single practitioner and has been practicing family law for over three decades. Attorney Rudder started his career as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney. If you need legal assistance or want to get divorced, call 212-826-9900.

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