When a marriage becomes abusive, a subsequent divorce may become more complicated legally and emotionally. In most cases, abuse is a significant reason for a divorce. Legally, an abuser is not considered responsible for a divorce, though their actions may affect the details of a settlement. Read on to learn how mental and emotional abuse may affect a divorce in Washington.
The Definition of Mental Abuse
Although mental abuse doesn’t leave visible scars, it’s extremely damaging and hurtful. Abusers seek to belittle and degrade their spouses, usually because of a need for control and power. They may isolate their victims, verbally abuse them, and use their children against them. Though an abuser may seem normal when they’re in a good mood, they can become demeaning and controlling rather quickly. Talk to a Divorce Attorney in Tacoma WA to learn about legal options to stop the abuse.
When divorcing an abuser, the process may be more demanding than in other cases. Feelings of confusion, fright, and anger are common, and one way to fight them is to gain as much control of the situation as possible. Keeping records of an abuser’s actions is a good way to do this. Some victims get restraining orders against their abusers, and if the order is violated, record-keeping is crucial. Even if there’s no restraining order, copies of abusive phone calls, letters, and text messages may be used in court.
Spousal Support and Asset Division
Washington follows the “no-fault” rule for divorces, which means a spouse cannot be held solely responsible for the ending of a marriage. However, the court will consider an abuser’s record when dividing property and considering spousal support.
If children are involved, the process will address their custody. In cases where a parent is abusive, the other person has a significant advantage if they want to obtain sole custody. Parents’ behavior is a primary factor in determining the best interests of the children, and again, a Divorce Attorney in Tacoma WA may use a victim’s records to help them gain the upper hand.
Divorces are never easy, and dealing with an abusive spouse makes things even harder. With help from a local divorce and family lawyer, though, the process may become easier. Fill out the online contact form or call today to request a consultation.