Share This Post
What to Consider When Getting a Divorce Due to Spousal Abuse
Divorce is a painful and difficult decision, but it might also be necessary if you’re in an abusive relationship. You may have already suffered through years of emotional abuse, or your spouse has recently become physically or violent with you. Whatever the situation, seeking a divorce may be best for you and your children if staying together puts them at risk for continued abuse. Here are a few things to consider when getting a divorce due to spousal abuse.
Assemble Evidence of Abuse
You may want to keep a journal of the abuse. it’s always crucial that you have evidence of everything that happened. If you are being abused with electronic devices or other means such as texts or emails, be sure that you print out these communications before deleting them from your phone or computer. Make sure to date everything and write down all instances of abuse that happened during an event where they occurred.
If at any time your abuser threatens to harm someone else close to you—your children or parents—this type of evidence must be included in your evidence collection, too (and hopefully, by now, we’ve convinced you how important keeping one is). Keeping a record like this will help show what kind of person they are, to you, family, friends, and the court system.
Talk with an Attorney About Your Options
If you’re considering getting a divorce due to spousal abuse, you must talk with an attorney specializing in family law. An experienced legal professional can help you understand your rights and options and guide you through the process of filing for divorce.
The first step is deciding whether or not it makes sense financially to hire an attorney. You may be able to get good information from a law firm’s website or by asking friends and family members who have gone through this process before. You might also want to ask about costs upfront, so there are no surprises later on down the road when it comes time for court proceedings (which we will cover in more detail below).
Another important thing for potential clients at any stage of their lives is finding someone who understands their needs and challenges, as well as finding out if they’ve worked successfully with others like themselves.
Address Your Mental and Physical Health
If you’re in an abusive relationship, address your mental and physical health first. Don’t wait until you’re ready to file for divorce or leave the relationship; don’t get help until after you’ve gotten out of an abusive situation. A pattern of abuse cannot be ended without addressing the underlying issues that perpetuate it, which means addressing your mental and physical health.
If you are experiencing abuse from a spouse, consider seeking professional support from a therapist who specializes in domestic violence as soon as possible (or at least before you start filing for divorce). Your local domestic violence shelter can also provide referrals to therapists experienced with helping victims dealing with trauma, who may be able to help guide you through the process of leaving an abusive partner safely.
Make sure that any professional who works closely with victims is familiar with issues specific to spousal abuse survivors; often, those working with such clients will have completed additional training beyond their general psychology license or certification to meet these individuals’ needs better.
End the Cycle
The first step to ending the cycle of abuse is understanding why it’s essential to do so. You may be emotionally abusive if you feel like your partner is trying to control you or if they’re often angry and upset at you.
It’s essential not only for your well-being but also for your child(ren)’s future that you get out of this situation as soon as possible. Some steps can help protect the victim and their children from further abuse, but it takes a lot of courage and determination. It’s essential that they make a plan and stick with it until they’ve successfully escaped their abuser–and then keep going even when things get tricky!
Work Out an Agreement with Your Spouse
When considering divorce due to spousal abuse, you and your spouse must work out an agreement together. You should first talk about how the abusive behavior came about and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. You will also want to discuss how much time each of you has spent with the children since birth, how many days each month each of them will finish with the other parent, who will pay for child support, and how often visits and holidays should occur.
Sometimes this discussion can lead to further arguments and increased aggression on the aggressor’s part. It may be best to have a mediator present to make things as smooth as possible.
If You’re Considering Divorce, Speak with Our Family Law Attorneys at Koleilat Law
If you’re considering divorce, speak with an attorney to get advice on your rights and options. Not only can we help you determine whether or not you have grounds for a divorce based on spousal abuse, but the legal documents involved in the process can be complicated. Our attorneys can write up these documents in a way that protects your interests while ensuring that all of the appropriate steps are taken.
Suppose you’re unsure about what to do next. In that case, it may be helpful to get a second opinion from another lawyer as well—they’ll likely be able to give their input on whether or not getting divorced is suitable for your specific situation.
The most important thing is to know that you have options and that there are people who can help. It’s not a situation where you have to go alone—plenty of resources are available for people going through this type of trauma. Contact our family law attorneys at Koleilat today to get a plan started and your divorce finalized.