Choosing to file for divorce can be painful for anyone. While divorce can a lot of times be associated to cheating, many individuals may choose divorce as a means to escape abuse. If you are someone leaving an abusive relationship and divorcing, know you’re not alone. Talk to an attorney. Stay Safe. Read the following curated tips by Houston Divorce Now to help keep you safe during this process.
Choosing to leave an abusive relationship can be dangerous. You may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where you and your family could go. Take a moment to establish a safety plan. Find a safe location. This can be at a friend’s or family member’s home or at a woman’s shelter. Create a rainy day fund. Depending on your situation, it’s important to have money saved just in case you find yourself in need of groceries or medication. If you and your family’s safety is in the line at that very moment, contact law enforcement. You can choose to press charges especially if the situation escalates to the point where you and your family’s life is in danger. The important thing to note is that you are not alone and your safety is priority.
Individuals who are abusive may try to spin a divorce their way especially if there are assets in the middle. Be sure to secure your documentation. Find all your important documents, make multiple copies and keep them safe. Documents included in your search can include your life insurance policies, wills, mortgages, social security cards for your entire family and your passports. If your spouse has been physically abusive and you have kept record of the abuse, make multiple copies of this information as well. It’s important to show all evidence of abuse to the authorities and your attorney.
Think of divorce after an abusive relationship as a new start. Cut ties in as many ways as you can including your joint finances. Violent exes can find other ways of hurting you and this can include financially. If you have a joint account or already established personal account your ex may know about, close the accounts as soon as possible and open new ones. Your ex does not need to know your private financial affairs once you take the step into divorce.
Even if you feel like you’re taking the right step towards a better life, the effects of abuse on a person can be extensive in one’s mind. You may experience depression, anxiety, PTSD and find reasons to return especially if you’re feeling alone. Know you aren’t alone and the abuse is not your fault. Finding therapy or counseling is essential to your healing process. It will give you an opportunity to confront the emotions you are feeling in a safe space and among an experienced profesional. If you do not feel comfortable speaking with a stranger, talk to a friend or family member. Let them know your experience and if you do not feel safe. It’s important for someone to know your situation in order to protect yourself.
Consult an attorney
Be proactive about your case. Talk to your attorney as soon as you can to discuss potential challenges in the divorce process. It’s important to note that your attorney will be able to guide you through a retraining order to protect you and your family during and after a divorce. You will also be able to discuss child custody, child support, alimony and other questions regarding your case. If there has been violence, your attorney will be able to assess the case in it’s entirety to ensure the best plan of action for your safety and future.
Finally, C.Y. Lee Legal Group, PLLC has more than a decade of experience in helping families through the divorce process. They are committed to finding the best solution for your case while keeping your best interests and safety in mind throughout the process. We hope this helps guide you through this life-changing decision.
For more helpful divorce tips, check out our other blogs.