In Colorado, domestic violence can significantly affect divorce cases. If you are involved in a divorce where there is a history of domestic violence, it is important to understand how this can affect various aspects of the legal process and the outcomes.
Here are some key areas of divorce where domestic violence may have an impact:
Impact on child custody and visitation decisions
In Colorado, courts prioritize the child’s best interests when making custody and visitation decisions. If there is a history of domestic violence in the marriage, the court can determine that awarding custody to the abusive partner could be detrimental to the child’s well-being. Accordingly, the court can award sole custody to the other parent. Moreover, the abusive partner may also receive limited and supervised visitation rights to ensure the child’s safety.
Impact on property division
It is also possible for a history of domestic violence to affect the division of property in a divorce. Courts consider several factors when distributing assets between spouses, which, depending on the judge and the unique case, can include a spouse’s misconduct, such as abuse. In these cases, the court may award a greater share of the assets to the victim spouse.
Impact on available legal remedies
Domestic violence can also affect the divorce process itself. Some processes, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, are generally not appropriate for divorce cases with a history of domestic abuse. This is because there is usually a power imbalance between the parties, with the abuser having more control and the victim feeling fear and intimidation.
It is advisable for victims of domestic violence to seek compassionate legal representation to ensure their rights are protected during the divorce process. An experienced support can help victims navigate the complexities of their case while also connecting them to additional resources such as counseling, support groups and safe housing if necessary.