How Does a Domestic Violence Charge Affect My Divorce in Lancaster County?

February 22, 2024
Family Law

A charge of domestic violence can profoundly impact the outcome of a divorce. A family court judge may favor the alleged abused spouse in most decisions, including the division of marital property, child custody, and spousal support. Experienced representation may be needed to keep the divorce proceedings fair.

Our skilled Indian Land divorce attorney in Lancaster County can address your unique family matter with the respect it deserves.

Is Domestic Violence Grounds for a Divorce in Indian Land, SC, in Lancaster County?

Year after year, South Carolina ranks in the top ten for domestic violence. According to a recent article, the state ranks 7th for intimate partner violence. Reportedly:

  • 42% of women experience domestic violence in their lifetime
  • 29% of men suffer intimate partner abuse at least once in their lives

State law considers domestic violence grounds for a fault-based divorce when there is evidence of physical cruelty. For the term “physical cruelty” to apply, there must be at least one of the following:

  • Actual personal violence
  • Physical treatment as endangers life, limb, or health
  • Physical treatment that renders living together unsafe

If filing for a divorce on the grounds of physical cruelty based on domestic violence, a spouse must show supporting evidence. Qualifying evidence may include photographs of injuries, police reports, witness and personal testimony, or 911 recordings.

How Does a Domestic Violence Charge Affect Divorce Proceedings?

South Carolina recognizes fault-based and no-fault divorces. When there is evidentiary proof of physical cruelty during the divorce proceedings, it can significantly impact the outcome. Factors most affected include:

  • Division of marital assets: Generally, judges give the abused spouse a greater share of the marital assets, including property and cash.
  • Child custody: If physical cruelty can be found, an abusive spouse is less likely to receive sole or joint custody. Family courts are given the authority to decide the best interests of the child. A judge may prohibit overnight visitations, order supervised visitations, or disallow visitation altogether.
  • Spousal support: While awarding spousal support is never intended to be a punishment, domestic violence is a factor. A judge may consider whether the physical abuse contributed to a spouse’s ability to support themselves financially.

If your divorce involves domestic violence, it is important to proceed carefully and retain the skilled representation you deserve.

Will I Need an Indian Land Divorce Attorney?

Emotions run high during a divorce. When domestic violence is a factor, proceedings can turn ugly. You need an experienced Lancaster County divorce lawyer to protect your best interests.

At Barboza Law, we have years of experience helping spouses through this difficult time. We understand the sensitive nature of domestic violence and will represent your divorce with dignity. Call (803) 973-6003 to schedule a consultation and discuss your unique family law matters.