Walla Walla Domestic Violence Lawyer
Whether domestic violence was a precursor to your divorce, occurred as a result of filing for divorce, or is a temporary or systemic problem in an ongoing relationship, it is a serious issue. Domestic violence can often lead to serious criminal charges and may have significant consequences on a divorce settlement.
Washington is a no-fault divorce state, which means neither party is required to prove fault on the other spouse’s fault in order for the courts to grant a divorce. However, there are many factors within the relationship between spouses, as well as in the relationships between each parent and any children who are part of the marriage, that may affect how a court decides on aspects such as child custody.
This means that while a court may not need to look at domestic violence to grant a divorce, substantiated allegations of domestic violence can still affect the final terms of your divorce settlement. A knowledgeable Walla Walla domestic violence lawyer could explain these distinct impacts in greater detail. Speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney that could answer your questions. En Español.
Understanding Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is more than just physical abuse. The Revised Code of Washington Title 10 Chapter 10.99 Section 10.99.020(5) defines domestic violence as including but not limited to:
- Physical abuse such as assault
- Reckless endangerment, which is conduct that poses a significant risk of serious physical injury or death
The statute itself notes that this is not an exhaustive list. A Walla Walla domestic violence lawyer could elucidate upon what qualifies as domestic violence and what options both involved parties may have for addressing it.
When violence is factored into a divorce, perhaps the most important consideration is child custody. It is ideal if a child is able to maintain a relationship with both parents, but if one parent presents a safety concern or other risk to a child’s best interests, then it may be more beneficial to limit custody and visitation for the parent that has perpetrated substantiated violence against the other spouse or any children involved in the marriage. For situations like this, courts have the option to impose limited and/or supervised visitation.
Only exceptional circumstances allow judges to deviate from the state’s predetermined child support schedule. These include events like the involuntary loss of a job or other life events that can have a significant impact on the financial well-being and ability of one or both parents.
While domestic violence is not itself considered when determining if spousal support is appropriate, the consequences of domestic violence could be. In other words, if domestic violence has affected the employability of the victim because of its medical or psychological effects, then that could factor into a judge’s determination of appropriate spousal support.
Benefit of a Walla Walla Domestic Violence Attorney
If you are the victim of domestic violence in your relationship, there are resources to help you. If you are at immediate risk, you should call law enforcement. However, there are many local resources that are devoted to working with both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. A compassionate Walla Walla domestic violence lawyer could help you explore these resources while also protecting and advocating for your rights.