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How can domestic violence affect alimony in New Jersey?

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Generally, when there is a significant financial discrepancy between divorcing spouses, the court will order the high-earning spouse to provide financial support to the dependent spouse to maintain a similar lifestyle to which they grew accustomed during the marriage. This court-ordered payment is known as alimony or spousal support. It’s imperative to note that alimony is not automatically awarded; the dependent spouse must file a request with the court. The court will consider various factors to determine whether alimony is appropriate under the given circumstances. That said, many individuals wonder whether domestic violence will impact the court’s decision regarding alimony. If you’re the victim of domestic violence seeking a divorce, it’s in your best interest to enlist the legal assistance of a determined ​​Ocean County Alimony Attorney who can help you make informed decisions about the next chapter of your life. Please continue reading to learn how domestic violence can impact alimony in New Jersey. 

What constitutes domestic violence in New Jersey?

Generally, domestic violence is defined as a pattern of physical, verbal, economic, psychological, or sexual abuse in a relationship that may include threats, intimidation, isolation, financial control, or humiliation. This type of abusive behavior is intended to gain or maintain power and control over another person. Unfortunately, domestic violence can take on various forms and can happen to anyone married, living together, or dating. Domestic violence is a severe crime in New Jersey. In most cases, victims can seek a restraining order that will require the abusive spouse to stay away and refrain from contacting the victim. Essentially, a protective order can help keep a victim safe from further abuse at the hands of their partner.

Can domestic abuse impact alimony?

When determining whether to award a dependent spouse alimony, the courts are given broad discretion in weighing each factor. Although there are no laws barring a former abusive spouse from being able to obtain alimony, the courts can deny alimony to an abusive spouse if they deem it appropriate.

If you’re the victim of domestic violence and you can demonstrate that the abuse you suffered impacted your financial ability to be self-supporting, the court may find it fair to award you alimony. Ultimately, alimony is only granted when the court deems the dependent spouse needs this type of financial support.

Unfortunately, domestic violence is more common than most people think. If you or someone you love is the victim of domestic violence, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined attorney from the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC, who can help protect your rights and interests.