Divorce, in and of itself, is a stressful undertaking. However, if the other party is abusive, then you need to be prepared to work extra hard.
Abuse in a relationship can be physical, emotional or verbal. Regardless of the type of abuse, your spouse is subjecting you to, you need to understand your rights.
Here are important tips you need to keep when divorcing an abusive spouse.
Report the abuse to the police
If your spouse becomes aggressive or issues verbal threats against you or the children, do not take the matter lightly. Instead, call the police. And once the police arrive at the scene, be sure to provide a detailed, and accurate, account of what happened so they can capture it in the incident report. Do not lie or exaggerate anything to gain an upper hand.
If the spouse is physically abusive, you may file charges and have them arrested.
Document the abuse
It is important that you have a journal of the abuse incidents, where they occurred, the specific nature of the abuse as well as witnesses. The more credible your account is, the stronger your case for a restraining order will be. If there are any text or voice messages, be sure to keep them. And if they inflicted physical injuries on you, ensure that you seek treatment and obtain a doctor’s report.
A properly documented account of events will also come in handy when litigating your custody case.
Leaving the marital home while the divorce is underway is never a good idea. However, if your safety and that of your children are at stake, then you need to move out to a safer place. This is especially important while you are waiting for the court to approve the restraining order against the abusive party.
Ending a marriage is never easy. However, an abusive spouse can worsen an already difficult situation. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests while divorcing an abusive spouse.