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Should I Include Evidence of Abuse in My Divorce?

 Posted on June 11, 2024 in Contested Divorce

Travis County, TX contested divorce lawyerDivorce is challenging at the best of times, and marriages that have a history of abuse or power imbalances can be even more stressful to end. Contested divorces are those that include allegations of abuse or other emotionally charged issues that make it difficult for spouses to settle the important decisions needed to finalize their divorce.

If there has been abuse throughout your marriage, it can be helpful to include evidence of this in your divorce case, especially if you need the judge to make decisions based on your and your children’s safety. An experienced Texas contested divorce lawyer can guide you through this process.

Types of Abuse in Marriage

Navigating a divorce after abuse is difficult, and several different types of abuse may be present in your marriage. The Texas Family Code outlines “cruelty” as grounds for a fault-based divorce in the state, and any of these types of abuse have the potential to be cited in your divorce:

  • Physical abuse, including domestic violence

  • Emotional abuse

  • Verbal abuse

  • Financial abuse

  • Religious abuse

If you are attempting to pursue a Texas divorce and you need to take steps to ensure you are safe to do so, speak to your lawyer about obtaining a protective order before filing for divorce.

Can Including Evidence of Abuse in My Divorce Be Beneficial?

Including evidence of abuse in your divorce can be beneficial, as it may adversely impact the abuser when it comes to important decisions in your divorce like spousal support, child support, and child custody. Evidence can take the form of pictures and videos, medical documentation, witness statements, text messages, social media posts, or bank statements.

The following factors of your divorce can be impacted when you include valid evidence of abuse:

  • Property Division – Texas is a community property state and generally requires an equal split of property and assets, but exceptions may be made in cases of abuse.

  • Child Custody – Child custody decisions are made in the best interests of the child, and a judge may award custody in a way that keeps children away from the abusive spouse.

  • Spousal Support – Texas recognizes domestic violence or abuse in a relationship as an eligibility factor for spousal support payments.

Additionally, evidence of abuse or domestic violence in your marriage may speed up the overall divorce process, with many judges opting to waive the 60-day waiting period required for a divorce to be finalized.

Contact a Travis County, TX Contested Divorce Lawyer

Dealing with abuse in your marriage is difficult, and filing for divorce from an abusive spouse is stressful. You will need a skilled Austin, TX contested divorce attorney on your side to help you pursue your divorce and file for any applicable protective orders. Your lawyer can advise you further about how evidence of abuse can work in your favor during the divorce process.

At Powers Kerr & Rashidi, PLLC, we have over 40 years of experience, and we are committed to providing our clients with compassionate and aggressive representation. Call 512-610-6199 for a consultation.

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