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How does Domestic Violence influence a divorce?

A woman suffering domestic violence and considering divorce

Many divorces in Ontario end relatively peacefully — either the couple agrees to work together to come to a mutually beneficial agreement, or they butt heads for a while through the legal system before eventually coming to a compromise or court-endorsed settlement.

Unfortunately, there are still many divorce cases that end because of violence and allegations of domestic abuse. This naturally has an impact on how the divorce process will be approached and handled.

Evidence of Domestic Violence

It’s not enough to simply claim that there was abuse; this accusation will need evidence to back it up, either in the form of photo or video evidence, or reliable witness testimony. Another form of evidence of domestic violence might be police reports or records if police were ever called to the scene following an incident.

Ultimately, a judge won’t be able to make key decisions on the case if there is still uncertainty about an issue as important as physical or mental abuse in the relationship.

Working for the family’s best interests

In all divorces that involve children, the judge will take into consideration the best interests of the children. If there is documented evidence of abuse, this will have a significant impact on the abuser’s chance of obtaining child custody and possibly visitation.

The terms of the divorce might also include therapy or psychological help for the ones affected by the abuse in addition to the abuser attending a program to assist him/her with parenting for example. This helps to ensure that the abuse is not normalized in any way and reduces the chance of it continuing.

Work together with your local family lawyer

In these situations, it is necessary to involve your own legal representatives to get an idea of how your specific case might be received in court. Family law is complex, and a family lawyer will be able to give you a stronger sense of how your specific case might be treated.

Take advantage of the free consultation offered by Epstein & Associates to get a quick idea of how our legal team can work on your behalf and what you might be able to expect from your case.