Spouses who have decided to divorce often view their ex’s behavior less charitably than they did during the marriage. Someone who ignored aggressive misconduct for years might start referring to that behavior as abuse.
Whether you are trying to leave behind an aggressive and violent spouse or your partner has started to claim that you are abusive toward them or your children, you likely have an interest in understanding how the Illinois family courts change their approach to divorce proceedings when there are allegations of domestic violence.
What impact will those claims have on your hearings in family court?
There are potential technical consequences
Some of the basic rules for divorce are different when there are claims of domestic violence. For example, the courts can protect the spouse making the allegations by preventing the disclosure of their new address. In some cases, when there is an Order of Protection in place, one spouse may have no choice but to leave the marital home pending the divorce proceedings.
The state only allows for no-fault divorce filings, so often proving that the abuse occurred is not necessary. However, there is one situation in which the spouse making the claim may need to present documentation to the courts.
Abuse can affect parental rights
When the divorcing couple has children together and one parent wants to limit the other’s parenting time because of a domestic violence issue, they will need supporting evidence if they want the courts to take their claims seriously.
The Illinois family courts will always seek to prioritize the best interests of the children in a family. Some parents will try to weaponize divorce proceedings and make unfounded allegations to punish the other, so the Illinois family courts tend to be skeptical of abuse claims until there is corroborating evidence, like medical records or police reports, to validate someone’s claim about their ex’s behavior.
If the courts agree with claims that domestic violence in the household should influence how they divide parenting time, they may only give the accused parent visitation and may even require supervised visitation for the protection of the children.
Domestic violence claims accompanied by protective orders and authoritative state records tend to have more impact on divorce proceedings than allegations with no evidence. Learning more about how domestic violence can impact Illinois divorce cases can help those preparing for their day and family court.