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Does domestic violence affect spousal support?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2023 | Blog, Divorce |

Domestic violence continues to be an alarmingly frequent occurrence in the U.S. In fact, according to statistics from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, approximately 30% of women and 10% of men have experienced it. Among married couples, domestic violence is also a common reason for divorce.

Few things can complicate a divorce more than a history of domestic violence. While most Michigan divorces are no-fault ones, fault can play a part in the proceedings. Indeed, you might be able to use your history of abuse to win spousal support, sometimes called alimony.

What is fault in a divorce?

No-fault divorce means neither you nor your spouse must have a reason for wanting to end your marriage. Put differently, it is not necessary to prove someone has done something wrong. Even though Michigan has a no-fault approach to divorce, courts can consider fault when dividing marital assets, settling child custody disputes and awarding spousal support.

How does fault affect spousal support?

While there are other types of fault, domestic violence is one thing courts consider when weighing spousal support. As a result, along with considering other factors, the court will use any history of domestic violence to determine whether spousal support is appropriate. This is because judges must contemplate the past actions and relations of both parties.

If the domestic violence you have experienced has caused you to fear for your personal safety and well-being, you might have a greater chance of receiving spousal support. Ultimately, though, it may be necessary to provide evidence of the abuse you have suffered during your marriage.