Domestic violence is an unfortunate part of many California family law cases. Domestic violence can be terrible for victims, and criminal charges can do extensive damage to the life of the accused.
When a marriage ends with a history of these allegations, it is important for everyone involved to be aware of how the law handles these complicated issues. This is especially true if there was a felony conviction.
Domestic violence will impact support and property division
According to California law, domestic violence can change how spousal support and property division are assessed as part of the case.
In cases where there were no accusations of domestic violence or abuse, the courts will consider the finances, education, marital lifestyle and future needs among other things when deciding on spousal support. It is different if there was felony conviction for domestic violence or sexual assault.
If a person was the victim of domestic violence, they cannot be ordered to pay spousal support to the abuser. Depending on the economic situation, the court could order the party who was convicted of felony domestic violence or sexual crimes to pay for the victim’s legal expenses. The victim will not be ordered to pay out of their separate property.
Community property will also be viewed differently. Since California is a community property state where anything acquired after the marriage is shared, people would normally need to split these items in half. By contrast, in felony domestic violence cases, the victimized spouse will get the entirety of retirement and pension benefits accrued after the marriage.
Having legal assistance that understands domestic violence can help with a case
Domestic abuse can harm a person physically and emotionally. When a divorce is underway and there was a conviction for felony domestic violence or a violent sexual felony, the courts will strive to ensure that the victim is granted certain rights that differ from cases in which these acts did not take place.
This is understandably viewed from the perspective of the victim, but the person who was convicted also needs legal representation. In complex situations involving domestic violence and divorce, it is imperative to have professional help from advocates who are aware of the law for these matters and can use an evenhanded approach to protect the client’s interests personally and financially.