When it comes to marital abuse, most people assume it is the man doing the abusing and the woman being abused. However, the reality of the situation is that there are many men who suffer abuse from their wife. It may not be physical in many cases, but emotional abuse also takes its toll over the years. So, the question remains, how can you divorce an abusive wife?
The advice for a man leaving his wife in this situation is much the same as it would be for a woman that wanted to divorce an abusive husband. You need to get all your ducks in a row in a manner that will not raise suspicion before leaving. This allows you to get out the door while not risking financial, physical, or emotional repercussions.
· Gather Important Documents – if your spouse thinks you are leaving, you can expect her to make it very difficult for you to obtain bank account information, insurance contracts, investment information, etc… You will need to get all of this information beforehand and make copies of all your documents. Removing any originals may hit her radar, so just make copies.
· Open a New Bank Account – if you have joint accounts, start checking your balances. If you see large sums of money leaving the account, your spouse may already be on to you, so you need to protect yourself financially. Laws in every state are different in what you can and cannot remove from the accounts, so consult with your divorce attorney in this matter.
· Protect Yourself – there are several things under this topic. If you have any weapons in the home, they should be removed. Make extra copies of car keys, lock boxes, safes, etc… and put them in a safe deposit box or leave them with a friend. If you have any family heirlooms, get them out of the home. You will also need to arrange to have your paycheck deposited into your new bank account as soon as you plan to leave if you currently have a direct deposit going into a joint account. Remember, the first time the paycheck does not hit the account, your wife will know what is going on, so timing is everything.
· The Children – you will need to know what you are going to say to the kids when the day finally arrives and you are leaving. If your wife is abusing them as well, physically or mentally, you need to talk to your attorney about how you can have the kids removed from the home at the same time. If you have adult children, enlist them in testifying against the abusive wife so the courts are more sympathetic to your case.
· Prepare Yourself Legally – many abusive women will threaten to call the cops and claim that you are actually abusing them. Contact your local police department and inform them of your intent. At the very least, you are on record. If she does call and tries to start problems for you with the local police, you have yourself covered. If you have not already, contact a qualified divorce attorney. He or she can guide you through the process and tell you what you can and cannot do legally.
Once you leave the home, you are gone, period. Abusive spouse’s can be very manipulative and she will do everything in her power to get you back. For an abusive spouse, it is all about power and manipulation, so you need to avoid falling prey to her conduct again. You know you are making the right decision, so do not give her the opportunity to persuade you any differently.