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Domestic Violence in the Context of Divorce

Tennessee divorce courts tend to consider a history of domestic violence an important deciding factor when deliberating on child custody terms. A record of abuse or violence might hamper a parent's ability to maintain a quality relationship with his or her child. Therefore, defendants standing accused of a domestic violence charge might benefit from prioritizing mitigation of the negative effects.

One thing many defendants are confused by is how a seemingly normal interaction with their partner could lead to criminal allegations. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy states that there are many different types of domestic violence. What some couples view as normal is sometimes considered domestic violence in the eyes of the law. Criminal cases must be decided on the legal definitions of violence rather than the opinions of the plaintiff or defendant.

There are several consequences that individuals convicted of domestic abuse charges might have to deal with within the context of divorce. FindLaw's resource page on the subject lists the following potential repercussions of carrying certain types of criminal charges or convictions:

  • The court might arbitrate requirements for child visitation
  • The victim might be able to skip the mediation phase of the divorce
  • A judge could terminate parental rights
  • The alleged victim might pursue a protective order 

Anyone could potentially benefit from reviewing the information on the FindLaw page. Knowing what does and does not constitute bodily harm or partner violence in Tennessee and avoiding the actions defined in those sections of the law could prevent persistent problems for an individual's future, such as criminal convictions, limited familial interaction, and a damaged reputation.