Domestic Violence and Divorce

Marriage, as most of us know, can have its ups and downs. However, there are some behaviors that are strong indicators that it’s time to end the relationship once and for all.

Domestic violence is an excellent example. Being in a marriage where you worry that your spouse will physically harm or even kill you is never acceptable, and divorce is usually the best option to get out of this situation.

While some men are victims of domestic violence, the large majority of victims are women. Many of these women are fearful about leaving the marriage for a variety of reasons – it can be a case of low self-esteem, not having the financial means to get away, or even the fact that many women still love their abusers and think they will change. Luckily, many do find the courage to leave and begin divorce proceedings. However, there are many aspects of how domestic violence impacts a divorce of which a victim may not be aware.

Legal Protections

First, it’s vital to know that Nevada law has a clear definition of domestic violence. When it is shown that this behavior has occurred, courts can issue a protective order outlining certain actions and behaviors that an adverse party can and cannot do. Among some of the actions that may be defined are excluding the adverse party from the victim’s residence and place of employment, granting temporary custody of minor children, paying costs for the victim to obtain the protective order, and paying other costs for the victim such as lost earnings and medical care. A Nevada court, in some circumstances, even has the ability to require the adverse party to surrender firearms.

These statutes are intended to help victims escape domestic violence situations, and a party who violates the terms of the protective order is subject to arrest. In addition, a victim is not required to show that divorce proceedings have begun to obtain a protective order. The protections are put in place to prevent further harm to the victim, whether or not she is still married to the alleged abuser.

Alimony and Child Support

Many victims of domestic violence may be afraid to leave a marriage simply because they have no way to support themselves financially. Nevada has statutes that specifically address child support and alimony payments. There are also rules on how these support orders may be enforced. Child support payments are taken very seriously, and many states maintain a database of information to insure timely payments.

Alimony payments are also considered. A court will look at many factors in determining alimony payments, including the financial position of each spouse, how long the marriage was, age, health, earning capacity and what contributions each spouse made to the home.

Many victims of domestic abuse may have been stay at home mothers and no longer have a viable skills set in which to get a job. The court will usually take this into account when granting alimony and will include funds to help obtain job training or education.

Suing an Abuser for Medical Costs

In some cases, a victim may want to sue their abuser for medical costs and other damages. This is best handled by an attorney, because there are a number of different approaches and types of damages.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been the victim of domestic violence, contact an experienced divorce attorney today to start moving forward on a new life, away from your abuser.