There is a common misconception that bad behaviour in a marriage influences the divorce settlement. For “conduct” to be taken into account, it has to be “gross and obvious”. In a case where the husband was convicted of attempted murder of his wife, she received the bulk of the assets. However, it is more likely that “needs” will prevail and if the spouse’s behaviour and subsequent conviction has has an impact on the financial resources available, those left will be allocated primarily to the spouse (and children) who have been the victims of the behaviour, rather than any award representing a “punishment” for that behaviour.
Criminal and family lawyers all agree that coercive control is the most pernicious behaviour which has profound familial repercussions. They must often co-operate in these types of cases. The US writer Evan Stark described controlling behaviour as “akin to terrorism and hostage taking” and he is not far wrong.