All marriages have their problems, but if you are dealing with domestic abuse, it is absolutely crucial to protect yourself and get out immediately. Nobody deserves to be abused, especially not by someone they should be able to trust and love as a partner. Whether your spouse’s abuse is physical, emotional, financial, or sexual in nature, there are several things you can do to get out and get help.
Leaving an abusive spouse can be extremely difficult, especially if he or she controls your finances or watches your comings and goings. However, if you arm yourself with information, it could make leaving and divorcing your abuser significantly easier.
If you are contemplating leaving or divorcing your abusive spouse, consider the following:
1. Help is Available
There are several resources available to victims of domestic violence, including non-profit organizations, women’s shelters, domestic abuse hotlines, and your local police station. In addition to these public resources, there are likely people in your life who would be glad to help keep you safe and offer the support you need. All you need to do is reach out. Talk to a family member or a trusted friend about what you’re going through. Discuss your situation and create a plan to help get yourself and your children away from your abuser.
2. Temporary Orders Can Grant You Immediate Relief
Even if you are ready to take action and leave your abuser, you might be worried about what that means for your finances, your family, your living situation, and so on. To solve issues like this, the court can offer temporary child custody, child support, and spousal support orders while you wait for official orders. These temporary orders can grant you custody of your children while you get your affairs in order, and it could even require your spouse to pay you temporary spousal support, in certain circumstances. In order to find out what you may be entitled to through temporary orders, discuss this option with your family law attorney.
3. Protective Orders Can Provide the Security You Need
Getting away from an abuser can be an extremely daunting task, and you might not be sure if you will be completely out of their reach. Thankfully, you can get a protective order to prevent your spouse from harming you ever again. First, you can petition the court for a temporary protective order, which moves through the court system very quickly so that you don’t have to wait to be issued legal protection from your abuser. This order can prevent your spouse from coming near you, your residence, your work, and your children. Once you’ve received a temporary order, you and your attorney can begin filing the appropriate paperwork to obtain a more permanent protective order.
4. Your Spouse’s Record Could Affect Child Custody, Property Division, and More
Once you decide to divorce your abuser, you will learn that their abuse could come back to haunt them. If you press charges or take legal action against your spouse, you can use their history of domestic violence against them in family court. For example, when the court is working out a child custody arrangement, if you remind the judge of your spouse’s history of domestic violence, it could seriously influence your spouse’s chances of obtaining custody. Their history of domestic abuse could also work in your favor when it comes to property division and spousal support.
If you are in an abusive marriage, our firm is prepared to help you obtain the orders of protection you need. Contact Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC to speak with our Jackson divorce lawyers about your case.