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How Does Domestic Violence Impact Divorce?

parents fighting in front of child

No one goes into a marriage thinking their spouse will harm them, but sadly, it's a common problem for many people that are married. In order to find relief from the pain that domestic abuse brings, people may look into getting a divorce. However, seeking a divorce from your abuser is a terrifying task that requires extra precautions.

Facing Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is different for all victims and it takes many forms, including emotional abuse, financial abuse, and physical aggression. Regardless of the type of abuse, it is never okay to harm another person. 

Recurrent and frequent psychological torment or physical aggression crumbles peoples' lives. Victims may have trouble focusing at work, can withdraw from other relationships, and can become depressed.

Individuals must face the fact domestic violence is in the relationship when a variety of unpleasant or painful incidents occur and, most importantly, recur often. It is scary to think about the consequences of divorcing someone who has been violent with you, but it's necessary in order to protect and your family. 

Domestic Violence and Divorce

In the state of Virginia, domestic violence is grounds for a fault divorce. This means you can file for a contested divorce on the fault grounds stated in Virginia’s laws. Specifically, Virginia Code § 20-91(6) states, "Where either party has been guilty of cruelty, caused reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt, or willfully deserted or abandoned the other, such divorce may be decreed to the innocent party after a period of one year from the date of such act."

Because of this, the court will consider the actions of your spouse during your divorce. This will help lead to obtaining a better settlement and more importantly provide protection for you and your children. 


Remember you are never alone. Our family attorneys provide nonjudgmental advocacy to clients in vulnerable situations. The Suffolk County divorce lawyers at Bush & Taylor, P.C. are here to help protect families from domestic violence and help obtain restraining orders when needed.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, call Bush & Taylor, P.C. at (757) 926-0078 for a consultation and help with filing a restraining order.

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