Legal rights for survivors of partner sexual abuse during divorce

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | DIVORCE - Domestic Violence |

Divorce is a challenging process, and it becomes even more complex when it involves cases of sexual abuse by a partner. In New Jersey, survivors of such abuse have specific legal protections and rights.

Understanding your legal protections

New Jersey law recognizes the gravity of sexual abuse in marital relationships and provides specific grounds for divorce based on this abuse. It’s important for survivors to understand that the law is on their side.

If you’re in immediate danger, it’s crucial to contact the police and seek a temporary restraining order for protection. Sexual abuse is a valid legal ground for divorce in New Jersey, which allows you to initiate divorce proceedings without the need for a prolonged separation period.

Filing for divorce on grounds of sexual abuse

When filing for divorce on these grounds, it is crucial to document evidence of abuse, which may include medical records, police reports, or testimony from therapists or counselors. Working with an attorney specialized in divorce and domestic abuse cases can guide you through the process and help protect your rights. Ensuring confidentiality and accessing support from local advocacy groups can also be invaluable during this time.

Custody and support considerations

In cases involving abuse, decisions about custody and support are particularly sensitive. The court will prioritize the best interests of any children involved, and evidence of abuse can significantly influence these decisions. Judges often limit or supervise the abusive partner’s visitation rights to protect the children. Additionally, you may be entitled to spousal support, especially if the abuse has impacted your ability to work or maintain financial stability.

Understanding your rights during a divorce after you have faced partner abuse helps ensure your safety and begins the process of rebuilding your life. Remember, you are not alone, and there are resources available to help you through this difficult time.