If you are in an abusive relationship, it can be even harder to know when it is time to file for divorce. Physical abuse is easy to identify, but there are other types of abuse where it is harder to realize when you need to get away to be safe. Emotional, verbal and mental abuses are just as devastating as physical abuse, but few people outside the couple know what is going on.
Often, when you talk to anyone about filing for divorce, most people offer all types of advice. Many times, you are told never to leave your home because that may signal to the judge that you abandoned your home and therefore, do not deserve it. In the case of abuse, however, you need to be safe above all else. Everything in your home can be replaced except you, your children and your pets.
The best way to handle a divorce in an abusive relationship is to talk to a lawyer immediately. Every circumstance is different and you need sound legal advice for your situation. Make sure that you tell your attorney all the details of the abuse. It may be embarrassing, because once people find out how you have been treated they often wonder why you stayed in the relationship.
Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks! You have the right to be safe and happy! No one deserves to be treated with anything less than respect and if your spouse can’t treat you that way, it is definitely time to get out. If you have been threatened at any point in your marriage, be sure to tell your lawyer. If you have any police reports, bring them with you.
Your lawyer has heard stories like yours many times, even if you think yours is unique. He/she can tell you what steps to take to start the divorce process and can also offer advice on how to stay safe. You may be advised to leave your home and to stay with friends, so be ready to leave immediately. Make sure to take anything that you cannot live without – financial papers, medical information and medicines.
As much as you may hate the idea of leaving your home, your safety is more important. People who are abusive can be unpredictable and even if you have never been threatened, your abuser may still snap. Never take a chance with your life – follow your attorney’s advice and stay safe during and after your divorce.
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