A divorce is always stressful, no matter the circumstances. However, when domestic violence is the reason for the split, more rules and more emotions become involved. They can affect the outcome of the divorce settlement, whether it pertains to spousal support, child support or child custody.
If you or your spouse obtained a protective order, what does that mean for your divorce?
A person files a protective order with the court to keep the alleged abuser from further harming the victim. The protective order can try to stop the abuser from:
- Hurting or threatening to harm the victim
- Communicating or attempting to communicate with the victim
- Going near the protected person’s home, job, children, other family members
- Keeping a firearm
In addition, during the divorce, the court may write a protective order to require the person to leave the family home, pay child support and complete a battery intervention and prevention program.
Consequences of a domestic violence protective order on child custody
If the court finds evidence of domestic or family violence during marriage and there are children, a judge may decide not to appoint joint managing conservators and may even deny the alleged abuser possession of the children.
If there were already protective orders in place before the divorce filing, the judge may take away all rights of custody. The court may consider several factors:
- Continued threat to children
- Severity and frequency of the violence
- Pending criminal case
- Physical evidence that includes photographs
- Police reports documenting incidents
Remember that restraining orders during a divorce differ from protective orders. A restraining order tells the parties what they can and cannot do during the divorce process.
Know the laws that will protect you and your children before, during and after the divorce.