Divorce And The Abusive Spouse

Divorce is almost always a difficult life experience, but few things are worse than staying married to an abuser. If you are to begin a new life safely, you must make preparations before the specter of divorce causes additional problems. Any of the below safeguards that can be accomplished in the period leading up to a separation and divorce can help keep you and your children from harm. Read on to learn about how to stay safe when divorcing an abusive spouse. 

Plan Ahead

  • Being abused can cause you to feel worthless, but don't allow low self-esteem to prevent you from sharing your troubles with friends or family members. If you are to break free of the abuser, you will need all the help and support you can possibly garner, so don't be too embarrassed to share.
  • Try to imagine some worse case scenarios to help you make preparations in advance. Abusive spouses often cut off financial resources in an effort to gain power, so any funds you can set aside are a bonus. Putting aside some money secretly could give you not only an emotional boost but ensure that you have access to a safer living situation in an emergency if needed.
  • Make sure that the abusive spouse lacks ammunition by removing precious family valuables ahead of time. A rented storage space or a trusted family member or friend can help you to keep photos and other items safe and far away from the spouse that wants to take them hostage or destroy them if you don't comply with requests for getting back together.

Take Your Children

No matter how confident you are that your spouse would never harm your children, be sure to take them with you when leaving an abusive spouse. Children (and pets) left behind can create custody issues when divorcing since it appears that you were not taking the best interest of the child into consideration when you left them with the abusive partner.

At-fault Divorce

Many states follow the no-fault rule when it comes to making decisions on the division of assets and debts, but in the states that do still use fault as a factor, you may have some leverage if you can show proof of abuse. Every issue from child custody and visitation to the awarding of property could be influenced by proof of abuse.

Be sure to work closely with a divorce attorney (such as one from Karie L. Sanoba, Attorney at Law) for more tips on staying safe during the separation and divorce process, including how to safely serve your spouse with a restraining order.