A history of domestic violence in your marriage can change many things about the divorce process. The law specifies certain details that may make your case different from others.
According to the California Family Code, if there is a conviction of domestic violence in the five years prior to the divorce filing, there are specific rules the court must follow.
Date of separation
If the victim requests, the court will set the date of separation in the relationship as the date of conviction for the domestic violence charge. The court may also set it prior to that date if the judge finds reason to do so. This is an important point because it will factor into property division and other aspects of the divorce agreement.
The court can use the domestic violence conviction as a factor when dividing community property. Because of the situation, the judge has the right to give all the community property to the spouse who is the victim of the violence. The judge may also make the spouse who has the domestic violence conviction pay all attorney fees and other costs for the divorce for both sides.
Domestic violence can also impact spousal support awards. The victim will never have to pay the other party support payments. The law specifically prohibits this type of order regardless of the financial situation of the parties.
It is important to note that these rules only apply when there is a conviction. Accusations do not hold up in court unless you have the actual conviction through a court.