Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse. Domestic violence can also be emotional and financial. Regardless of the type of abuse you are enduring or whether the perpetrator is male or female, when you make the decision to leave the marriage, you have to make the right moves to protect your future. To help you move in the right direction, here are some tips for ending your marriage.
Talk to Your Divorce Attorney
If possible, stay in the home until after you meet with your divorce attorney. Depending on your state's laws, moving out of the home before a court has a say on who stays in the home could have an impact on your case in the future. If you leave the home now, this could also impact your spousal support payments.
Your attorney can help you file for an order of protection that would essentially force your spouse to leave the home if he or she has a history of being violent with you. Evidence, such as police reports, pictures, and witness testimonies can help you make the case for the protection order.
It is important to note that if you are afraid for your life or if your spouse has been physically abusing you, leaving the home could be the best option. Your attorney could argue that you had to leave for your own safety and that of your children. You can still ask for the protection order and request that your spouse be ordered to move out of the home until a final arrangement is made.
Request a Child-Custody Evaluation
If you share children with your abuser, he or she might request shared or sole custody of the children. Even if your spouse has not been abusive toward your children, you still need to take precautions to protect them. Predicting how the spouse will treat the children in the future can be difficult.
One way you can protect you and your children is to request a child-custody evaluation. During the evaluation, the evaluator will carefully assess both parents and their relationships with the children.
Ideally, the evaluator should be someone who has experience working with domestic-abuse cases. He or she will be familiar with the signs of abuse and able to judge whether or not your spouse's contact with the children should be limited.
Your divorce attorney can help pinpoint other ways you can protect the interest of you and your children without jeopardizing your futures.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.