According to research, one in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner at some point during their life. That said, if you’re the victim of domestic violence, you’re not alone. Many victims believe that they do not have options available to them. However, we can help you obtain the protections you need to ensure your safety. If you’re seeking a divorce from an abusive spouse, it’s crucial to understand how domestic violence can impact your divorce, including child custody and alimony orders. Please continue reading to learn how domestic violence can affect alimony and how our trusted Monmouth County Domestic Violence Attorneys can help you today.
When is alimony awarded?
In today’s society, many families have opted for a stay-at-home parent model where one spouse assumes the primary caregiver role. At the same time, the other focuses on advancing their career as the primary breadwinner. Although this family structure has benefits, it can create a significant financial discrepancy between spouses during a divorce. Therefore, when the spouses have disparate earning capacities and one spouse needs the financial assistance of the other to maintain a similar standard of living that they became accustomed to during the marriage, the court can award alimony.
It’s imperative to note that alimony is not automatically granted to a dependent spouse. The lower-earning spouse must file a request with the court. The court will weigh several factors to determine whether the dependent spouse needs this type of financial support and if the payor spouse can afford this maintenance payment.
How can domestic violence impact alimony in New Jersey?
In most cases, a domestic violence incident will increase your chances of being subject to an alimony order. In New Jersey, a judge has broad discretion when determining whether awarding alimony is appropriate. That said, the court can deny alimony to an abusive spouse due to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, which not only protects victims from domestic abuse but allows them to seek both civil and criminal relief from their abuser. The court can deny any divorce settlement agreement that has a survivor of domestic violence paying alimony to their convicted abuser.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to understand that alimony is awarded to spouses who need financial support; the court will not order alimony as a punishment for bad behavior during a marriage. If domestic violence has impacted a spouse’s ability to be self-supporting, the court will more than likely award alimony to a domestic abuse survivor alimony. For example, if you can demonstrate that an injury sustained by your abusive partner has prevented you from continuing to work, then you would likely be awarded support on these grounds.
As you can see, domestic violence can have a significant impact on an alimony order. If you’re the victim of domestic abuse seeking a divorce, it’s in your best interest to retain the legal assistance of our determined Monmouth County domestic violence attorneys. At Paone Zaleski & Murphy, we are prepared to help you fight for the support you deserve and need.