Even though spousal abuse can be isolating, you are not alone. In fact, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, roughly 25% of women and 11% of men experience domestic violence during their lifetimes. Spousal abuse also is a commonly cited reason for divorce.
If you are a victim of spousal abuse, it is critical to find a safe space. After all, your physical and mental well-being might be in danger. Still, spousal abuse can affect your divorce in a couple of different ways.
The divorce process
It is not uncommon for divorcing spouses to work together to find a consensus about divorce-related matters. If you have experienced spousal abuse, though, this might not be a feasible option for you. Indeed, it may be necessary to request a temporary restraining order to keep your soon-to-be ex-spouse from contacting you or harming you during the divorce process.
The distribution of marital assets
During your divorce, you and your husband or wife must divide your marital wealth. Georgia law contemplates an equitable distribution of marital property. This means you should receive what is fair and equitable, even if you do not get exactly half.
A judge might use your history of spousal abuse to award you a greater share of your marital estate, however. This may be particularly true if your abuse caused you to earn less during your marriage or otherwise put you at a financial disadvantage.
Ultimately, even though you cannot change the past, you can take steps to ensure the spousal abuse you have suffered does not continue to injure you during your divorce.