Domestic Violence and Divorce
Couples commonly engage in arguments during the demise of their relationship. While some degree of discord is to be expected, disagreements that become physical or cause a person to fear for their safety may constitute domestic violence. Domestic violence is a critical concern that often requires a party to take immediate measures to ensure their safety, and can also have a significant impact on divorce actions. It is smart, therefore, for domestic-violence victims and people wrongfully accused of domestic violence to seek legal counsel regarding their rights with respect to divorce proceedings. The capable Dallas divorce lawyers of McClure Law Group are mindful of the emotional and legal consequences of domestic violence and divorce, and, if we represent you, we will aid you in the pursuit of the best result available under the facts of your case.Domestic Violence Under Texas Law
In Texas, domestic violence is referred to as family violence. The Texas Family Code defines family violence as an act by one person in a family or household against another member of the family or household that is meant to cause bodily harm, physical injury, sexual assault, or assault, or a threat that is intended to place that person in reasonable fear of such actions. Family violence also includes the mental, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse of a child and dating violence. It does not include taking defensive actions to protect oneself, however.Domestic Violence and Divorce
Domestic violence can significantly impact divorce actions. While most people who want to end their marriage will seek a no-fault divorce, the Texas Family Code permits people to seek fault-based divorce for multiple reasons, including the cruel treatment of one spouse towards the other. As such, a victim of domestic violence can seek a divorce on the grounds of cruelty. Further, domestic violence victims can seek protective orders, prohibiting their estranged spouse from taking certain actions, like communicating with or going near them, engaging in abusive acts, entering their household, or owning a firearm.
Victims of domestic violence can also seek expedited resolution of their divorce cases. Under Texas law, the courts typically will not grant a final divorce decree before the 60th day after the suit for dissolution was filed. There is an exception, though, for cases in which the responding spouse either received deferred adjudication for or was convicted of a crime of family violence or where the party seeking a divorce has an active protective order against the responding spouse due to domestic violence. In such instances, the courts can waive the waiting period.Domestic Violence and Property Rights
Domestic violence also impacts the division of property and spousal-maintenance rights in divorce actions. While the Texas Family Code does not directly address family violence in the provisions regarding property division, it states that any community property must be divided in a manner the court deems right and just. As such, the courts can consider a history of domestic violence when determining how to divide property in a divorce. The Texas Family Code expressly states that spousal maintenance may be granted in a case in which the paying spouse received deferred adjudication for or was convicted of a crime of domestic violence against the requesting spouse or their child within two years before the date the divorce action was filed or while the suit is pending. The courts will also consider a history of domestic violence in weighing whether spousal maintenance is appropriate.Meet With a Skillful Dallas Attorney to Discuss Your Case
Domestic violence irreparably harms relationships and impacts people’s rights and obligations in divorce matters. If you have questions regarding domestic violence and divorce, it is essential to meet with an attorney to discuss your case. The skillful Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group are proficient at contending with sensitive matters in divorce cases, and, if we represent you, we can advise you of your options for protecting your interests. We represent people in divorce actions in Dallas, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Frisco, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, and Garland. We also represent parties with family-law matters in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can reach us through our form online or by calling 214.692.8200 to set up a meeting.