The Dos And Don'ts Of Pursuing A Divorce From An Abusive Spouse

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The Dos And Don'ts Of Pursuing A Divorce From An Abusive Spouse

4 August 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog


Abuse is absolutely a good reason to file for divorce. If your spouse has been abusing you, either physically or verbally, you owe it to yourself to seek a divorce so that you can move on with your life and pursue healthier endeavors and relationships. But divorcing from an abusive individual is often more complicated than you would hope. To ensure this process is not any more difficult than it needs to be, and also to ensure a prompt divorce, adhere to these dos and don'ts.

Do: Spend time financially preparing before you contact a lawyer and officially begin pursuing a divorce.

Once your spouse knows that you are filing for a divorce, things can get ugly pretty quickly. If at all possible, spend a few weeks saving as much money as you can so that you have funds to draw on when you do take this first big step. Put this money in an account your spouse cannot access. If you're not able to open an account without your spouse's knowledge, confide in a trusted friend and ask if they will hold onto the money for you.

Do: Make sure you have somewhere to go before you see the lawyer.

Even if you think you will be meeting with a lawyer without your spouse knowing at first, there's a good chance they will find out. Abusive spouses are known to keep close tabs on their partners, and your spouse may have a friend tip them off or may go through your email and find out about the appointment. So, in case things go south quickly after your meeting with the lawyer, make sure you have a place to stay from then on. This could be with a friend, with your parents, or if you have more cash at your disposal, at a room you book through AirBnB. 

Once you are out of the home you share with your spouse, you need to plan on staying out. So, make sure the friend or family member you're staying with knows this will be a longer-term solution until you're able to get back on your feet and rent your own apartment.

Don't: Confront your spouse in person.

Do not confront your spouse about the divorce until you have met with the attorney. They may give you some guidance as to how to break this news to your spouse. When you do tell your spouse that you have met with an attorney and are seeking a divorce, make sure you are not alone. Have a friend or family member there with you when you call and break the news to your spouse over the phone. This is simply safer than doing it in person as the news is likely to provoke more abuse. Make sure your spouse knows that there is someone there with you so they are less likely to show up in person and cause any trouble. If they do threaten you in any way during this conversation, call the police immediately.

Don't: Collect your items yourself.

After you break the news to your spouse, you will probably need to collect your possessions from the home you shared. It's generally better to do this sooner rather than later since there's a chance of your spouse ruining or getting rid of your items. However, by no means should you go collect the items yourself. Send a few friends to go do this for you. (Don't send one person as there's a greater chance of your abusive spouse harming them.) If your spouse refuses to let them access your things, you can call the police and ask them to escort your friends into the home.

Divorcing from an abusive spouse can be a real headache, but it's definitely worth it in the end. Remember to save money, formulate an exit plan, see a lawyer, and then tell your spouse about the divorce. If you need more information, check out sites like http://gomezmaylaw.com/.