Domestic violence is an issue that plagues millions of families every year. With the unexpected actions and reactions of an abusive spouse, getting a divorce can be a difficult topic to approach for a victim.
Your next steps towards freedom from domestic violence shouldn’t be made in fear. Find out how you can start the process in order to avoid prolonging your suffering against a violent spouse.
Take Financial Action
Before you even start the divorce process, take control of your personal finances. One of the biggest forms of control abusers have is through your money. Gain financial security by:
- Opening a bank account in your name and move finances around
- If possible get a credit card for emergency situations
- Change your PIN numbers on your account
Get a Qualified Divorce Lawyer
Once your finances are in place get in touch with a divorce lawyer who has experience with domestic violence situations. A compassionate family law attorney will be able to guide you through the domestic violence laws in your area, whether or not to go to the police, and how to move forward in the divorce process.
This step is essential to ensure that no legal issues arise when the time comes for you and your children to leave your spouse.
Collect Relevant Documentation
While planning your divorce evidence is essential in your situation. The key pieces of evidence you should collect for your lawyer include:
- Photographs of injuries or damaged property
- Documentation that shows phone calls, text messages, bank account statements, or any other paper trail that proves grounds for divorce
- Medical records and police records that document the abuse
While collecting documentation, make sure to create multiple copies and leave them with your lawyer as well as a friend or family member your spouse wouldn’t think to contact in the case that they want to contest your divorce and attempt to sabotage your efforts of proof.
Legally Get Away From the Situation
In an abusive situation, waiting around for your divorce to begin may not be a safe option. We recommend talking with your attorney to determine the best route to a separation that keeps you and your children safe.
One possible option is a court-ordered restraining order or a Protective Order with the result of your spouse having to leave while you continue to prepare for your divorce.
If you and your family find yourselves in immediate danger, reach out to the police and get escorted to a safe place like a shelter or family member’s home.
Serve Your Spouse With Divorce Papers
After your lawyer has helped you get away from the situation, they will help you actually file for divorce and get your child custody and spousal support requirements drafted. At this point, you shouldn’t have to deal with your soon-to-be-ex until court or potential mediation. Your lawyer will have the divorce papers served and will take appropriate action if they aren’t signed within a set timeframe.
Start the Divorce Process Today With Marx, Altman & Johnson
If you are in an abusive marriage and ready for divorce don’t let your family remain as another unfortunate statistic. Let the divorce lawyers at Marx, Altman & Johnson help you and your children start a new life. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.