Divorce is already a complicated process, and it becomes even more complicated when there are other legal factors involved, such as a criminal offense. To answer the question simply, yes, a criminal offense can influence the divorce process, but the answer is much more complicated than that.
How the criminal offense can influence the divorce will depend on a variety of factors, such as the severity of the offense, the victim of the offense, the time when the offense has happened, and the number of offenses the spouse has in his or her name.
- Severity of the offense – A serious crime, such as murder and rape, may affect divorce more than a less serious crime, such as driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Victim of the offense – If the offense involves a victim, especially if the victim is a family member, like a spouse or a child, it can affect divorce. One of the most common offenses in this factor is domestic violence.
- When the offense has been committed – If the offense has been committed recently, like somewhere within the last five years, it may have a bigger effect on the divorce compared to an offense that has been committed a long time ago.
- Number of offenses – How many offenses the spouse has under his or her name is also considered, and this number includes both major and minor offenses.
This just shows that criminal offenses go beyond the fines and jail times, as they can influence the life of a person after those penalties have been paid for. According to the website of James Powderly, charges can be defended. This way, those who have been charged will receive less penalties and less consequences in the lives, such as how the convictions can influence their divorces.
But how can these records affect divorces exactly? They are mainly considered in the possible dispute areas in divorces. The website of BB Law Group PLLC lists common dispute areas in divorces, such as alimony, child support, and child custody and visitation. These are just some of the dispute areas that criminal offenses can influence.
- Alimony – Spousal support can be adjusted, especially if the spouse has sacrificed too much because of his or her spouse’s offense. For example, the spouse has been a victim of domestic violence and has been unable to work because of it. His or her value in the job market may have slipped, so additional spousal support may be warranted.
- Child custody and support – The offense shows the spouse’s mental maturity, and to an extent, also his or her financial standing, because of how the offense can influence his or her job marketability. Those who have less mental maturity and have unwarranted dips in financial standing may have less favorable judgments from family courts.