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No matter whether a domestic violence incident was the catalyst of your spouse filing for divorce, it will be addressed by the New Jersey family court. More specifically, it may contribute to their calculations of an alimony order. Continue reading to learn how domestic violence may affect your divorce-related terms and how an experienced Bergen County alimony attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can help fight these claims placed against you.

How can a domestic violence charge affect an alimony decision?

The short answer is, yes, a domestic violence incident may heighten your chances of being subject to an alimony order. This is because the New Jersey family court can deny alimony to an abusive spouse, as the alimony maintenance statute holds that:

“No person convicted of…[domestic violence]…may receive alimony if: (1) the crime results in death or serious bodily injury…to a family member of a divorcing party; and (2) the crime was committed after the marriage or civil union. A person convicted of an attempt or conspiracy to commit [domestic violence] may not receive alimony from the person who was the intended victim of the attempt or conspiracy.”

What’s more, the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act allows the New Jersey family court to deny any divorce settlement agreement brought forward that has a survivor of domestic violence paying alimony to their convicted abuser. The state of New Jersey believes that such payments perpetuate such abuse and control.¬†This is not to mention the inevitable effect that a domestic violence incident may have on a child custody decision.

What other consequences come with a domestic violence charge?

Not only will a domestic violence incident affect your divorce-related terms, but it may also lead to your receiving a permanent criminal record. This is because such an incident may be handled in criminal proceedings. And if the New Jersey criminal court ultimately finds you guilty of this charge, then you may be facing any or all of the following consequences:

  • If your domestic violence incident was charged as a misdemeanor:
    • A jail sentence of up to six months and subsequent probation.
    • A fine of up to $500.
    • Mandatory attendance of anger management or domestic violence classes.
  • If your domestic violence incident was charged as a felony:
    • A permanent bar from purchasing firearms.
    • A final restraining order.
    • A prison sentence of up to 18 months for a fourth-degree offense.
    • A prison sentence of anywhere between three to five years for a third-degree offense.
    • A prison sentence of anywhere between five to 10 years for a second-degree offense.
    • A prison sentence of up to 20 years for a first-degree offense.

You cannot ignore your divorce proceedings or criminal proceedings for much longer. Instead, you must retain the services of a skilled Bergen County domestic violence attorney from McNerney & McAuliffe today.

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