The Effect of Abuse Allegations on Divorce Proceedings

 Posted on February 07, 2019 in Divorce

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The divorce process differs depending on if there is a history of child abuse or spousal abuse within the home. These allegations and charges, regardless of their outcome, play a pivotal role in child custody and visitation and spousal support determinations.

If you or your children are in danger of abuse, the most important thing is to get out of harm’s way. If you believe divorce is the right option for you, here is how abuse may affect your proceedings:

Parental Responsibilities

Illinois centers its child custody laws around the idea of what is “in the best interest of the children.” If you are in an abusive relationship and the physical or mental well-being of the child is in danger, it is critical you remove yourself and your children from the situation.

There have been cases in which one parent fled to safety, left their children behind, and both parents lost custody. If you leave because you are in danger, your children should come with you. It is also vital to create documentation, such as filing a police report, speaking to an attorney, taking photographic evidence, or shooting video of the violence. If there is evidence of abuse, a judge could decide the abusive party is unfit to parent. However, the court can choose any arrangement it prefers, such as:

  • Supervised visitation;
  • Prohibiting overnight visits;
  • Requiring a public place for child exchanges; or
  • Total termination of parental rights.

Spousal Maintenance and Child Support Payments

Financial abuse occurs when one spouse controls the finances, refuses access to money and controls spending, while also forbidding the other spouse to find employment. This makes the non-earning spouse entirely financially dependant on the other spouse. In cases such as these, a judge is likely to award spousal maintenance payments. Abuse can also increase the likelihood of being awarded child support payments. However, in all situations, violence does not automatically guarantee or deny financial support.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you are considering divorce from an abusive spouse, contact a Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer immediately. The attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help you file an order of protection to protect your family during the divorce process. Often, abusers put on a charming facade when attorneys and the court become involved. You want someone in your corner who will support your case and fight for your rights. Contact our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free and confidential consultation.


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