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3 Ways Domestic Violence Affects Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on April 24, 2024 in Domestic Violence

DuPage County, IL divorce lawyerDomestic violence is a crime with many victims. Not only does it affect the abused and abuser, but it can also affect children, relatives, and friends. The destruction caused by domestic abuse is also long-lasting. It not only ends marriages but can continue to affect the lives of others far afterward.

This is especially apparent during divorce proceedings. If there are reports of domestic abuse by either side, they are likely to come up multiple times during the process and can affect court decisions. If you have any questions regarding domestic violence, consult with a qualified divorce attorney in Illinois who has experience in domestic abuse matters.

Here are three ways domestic violence can affect the divorce process in Illinois.


Courts prefer to have divorcing couples work out their differences in mediation rather than fight messy, drawn-out court battles. In mediation, a neutral party appointed by the court — often a former judge — will use negotiation tactics to convince both sides to compromise. If the mediator is successful, both sides will come to a resolution and never have to litigate in court.

A judge will almost always order spouses who are getting divorced to resolve their differences in mediation. There are some exceptions, however, such as:

  • Complex divorces where there are many high-value assets

  • Divorces where either of the spouses has mental health issues

  • High-conflict divorces where the two parties are not even willing to negotiate

  • Divorces involving allegations of domestic abuse

If there has been domestic violence between the spouses, it is often not appropriate or healthy for both spouses to sit together in mediation. Therefore, the judge may not order mediation and the case will go straight to litigation, where it can be more complicated and costly.


Sometimes parents disagree about parental responsibilities, visitation, or parenting time, which is when a child is in a parent’s physical custody. In that case, the court will look at many factors before making a decision. Some of those factors include:

  • The child’s preference

  • Each parent’s income

  • The quality of the relationship between the child and each parent

  • The child’s educational and developmental needs

  • Any reports of abuse or neglect

If there are reports of domestic abuse by one side, the judge is likely to restrict parenting time for that parent and grant sole custody to the other.

Asset Division

One of the most complicated parts of a divorce process is called asset division. This is when the assets and properties belonging to both spouses are divided between them.

If a spouse has been abused, he or she may request a protection order, or a restraining order, from a judge. The order might restrict the abusive spouse from using some of the assets for the protection of others. This could prevent the abusive spouse from entering the house or other properties, for example.

Contact a Naperville, IL Divorce Attorney

Even one report of domestic violence can have a major impact on divorce proceedings. A savvy DuPage County, Illinois divorce attorney will know how to properly navigate the divorce process when there are allegations of domestic abuse. The attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C. are highly experienced in divorce and domestic abuse matters and are ready to take control of your case. Call 630-352-2240 for a free consultation today.

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