Will Domestic Violence Affect Your Divorce in New York?

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If you’re the victim of domestic violence, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, domestic violence is a prevalent issue that many individuals face in today’s society. As such, understanding the effect domestic violence will have on your divorce in New York is crucial. Please continue reading and contact a compassionate Suffolk County Domestic Violence Attorney to learn how we can fight to protect your rights. 

How Does Domestic Violence Impact Divorce Proceedings in New York?

In New York, couples seeking to dissolve their marriage have two options. They can either file for a fault or no fault-based divorce. In a fault divorce, the petitioner holds the other spouse responsible for running the marriage, while in a no-fault divorce, no blame is placed on either party.

In cases of domestic violence in the state of New York, you may be able to cite “extreme cruelty” as the grounds for a fault divorce. If there is evidence of abuse in a marriage, it can have a significant impact on the court’s decisions on the terms that will apply to the termination of your marriage, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. The court possesses broad discretion when evaluating each factor in a specific case.

Domestic violence will influence the court’s decisions regarding equitable distribution, with judges considering any financial hardship that the victim may have suffered. Additionally, the court examines whether a victim was coerced into remaining in the marriage. When a spouse has suffered abuse, family courts can behave similarly to civil courts. This means that if they deem it appropriate, they can grant a victim a larger share of the couple’s marital assets as a form of financial compensation.

Domestic violence will also impact the court’s decisions about spousal support. While the court will not order an abusive spouse to pay alimony as punishment for bad behavior during the marriage, the court is more likely to grant it if a victim can demonstrate that the abuse they suffered has prevented them from being self-supporting.

Will it affect child custody decisions?

Furthermore, when a divorce court finds a spouse guilty of domestic violence, it can impact child custody decisions. The court’s primary concern is safeguarding a child’s best interests. Essentially, they want to ensure the children grow up in the best environment possible. As such, judges are more likely to award sole custody to the victimized parent in instances of domestic violence to protect the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of a child. The court wants to ensure that the children are safe from potential harm. Therefore, they may strip all custody and visitation rights from an abusive spouse or require supervised visitations. In extreme cases, the court can even terminate an abusive spouse’s parental rights.

If you’re the victim of domestic violence, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted attorney from The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., who can help guide you towards a brighter future.


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I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

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I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

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The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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