Any abusive situation, be it daily or infrequent, physical or emotional, is dangerous. Victims of domestic violence often feel alone and isolated, but statistics show that 1 in every 3 women and 1 in every 4 men have been victims of some sort of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. On top of that, 15% of all violent crime in the United States is categorized as domestic violence. Any behavior involving sexual assault, bodily injury, stalking, harassing, or threatening between spouses is considered domestic violence and is punishable under California law. Even if your spouse says it won’t happen again, or that he or she is sorry, it is crucial that you understand that living with domestic violence is risky, destructive, and potentially deadly.
Dealing with an abusive spouse can be overwhelming and confusing, and trying to figure out how to get out of your current situation can be the most difficult part. Fortunately, there is always a way to get out of an abusive marriage, if you know what to do and lean on the right people for help. Instead of waiting to see if things get better, choose to free yourself from your abusive spouse and take the first step to get away from your abuser and out of your marriage. It takes a great deal of courage to face an abusive situation and get yourself out, but it is well worth it. If you are suffering from an abusive marriage, follow these simple steps to get free and prepare for a divorce.
Identifying the Problem
The first thing you need to do to get out of your abusive relationship is to accept that you are dealing with a big problem and that you need help. When it comes to getting out of a threatening marriage, there are numerous resources at your disposal. Some abusers cause physical damage that can make it difficult to get away, others control their victim’s with fear, or by governing the marital finances and monitoring their spouse’s comings and goings. Whatever your situation, calling The National Domestic Violence Hotline, or similar domestic abuse organizations in your area, can help. These organizations can apprise you of your legal rights and your options.
Domestic violence organizations are highly trained and experienced with situations like yours, and they know what to do in order to help you get out. Or, if you fear you are in immediate danger, call 911 for immediate help from your local police.
When abuse is involved, it is usually best to leave the home so that your spouse cannot find you. It is important that you take every necessary precaution to preserve your safety. If you have children, this is especially significant. Whether your spouse abused you, your children, or all of you, it is crucial that you act with all due care. Even if you think your spouse would never hurt your children, he or she might attempt to use them against you. In any case, it is always safer to keep them with you. Whether you plan on returning to your family home or not, you might choose to spend the first few days after your split with a trusted friend or relative. Make plans for a place of refuge, and if you have no nearby loved one to turn to, talk to a domestic violence organization about potential places for shelter.
Once you are out of immediate harm, take the next step towards divorce and initiate legal defenses. Contact a lawyer who has experience dealing with cases involving domestic violence. It is important that you work with an attorney who knows how to meet your needs and help you and your family find the protection and peace of mind you require. Your lawyer can inform you of your legal options at this point, which will usually involve a temporary restraining order from your abusive spouse, and the beginning stages of acquiring a more permanent restraint. Also, if you have children, your attorney can work to establish short-term custody arrangement that allows your children to remain with you and out of danger. Later on, a more permanent custody arrangement can be made in court.
Getting out of an abusive situation can be extremely difficult, both emotionally and physically. It requires an enormous amount of bravery and strength, but the opportunities waiting for you and your children after divorce is well worth it.
Contact Smith Law Offices, LLC to talk to our St. Charles divorce lawyers about divorcing your abusive spouse.