Abuse has no place in any relationship and being married is no excuse for doling out or tolerating abuse. Unfortunately, many women live unhappily because they do not take the steps to divorce an abusive husband. Some stay because they do not know how to leave their spouses. Here are some general guidelines to follow if abuse has entered the marriage. Consult a family law attorney to learn more and put this horrible situation in the past.
Do not seek permission from an abusive husband when considering divorce. Recognize your rights to make healthy choices including ending the marriage. Then, create a plan regarding the future that includes safe, desirable living and working arrangements. Break the plan into short-term steps including getting out of the marriage without harm and long-term steps such as moving, finding a new job, and arranging for childcare, if necessary.
Everyone deserves to have a happy life and an abused wife may need some help attaining this. A professional counselor is an excellent resource for support and coping assistance. Other family members or friends may offer temporary residence in their homes. An experienced family lawyer will make the divorce process less overwhelming. Identify people to turn to for assistance during this difficult time and reach out to request help.
Consult with a family law attorney before notifying your husband of plans to divorce. Do not inform anyone who might inform him and take precautions such as deleting telephone call logs and Internet histories. Do not leave any clues regarding a potential divorce because these could become reasons for additional abuse. Many abusive husbands are looking for additional ammunition to “justify” their behaviors to themselves.
Once the divorce papers are filed, protect yourself by seeking transitional shelter in a supportive environment. Work through the attorney whenever possible when negotiating division of property, spousal support, and arranging for child custody and financial support of any children. Do not visit places your husband is likely to be because even a public environment may not offer the necessary protection from his abusive behavior.
Continue counseling as long as necessary to deal with the effects of abuse and improve self-esteem. If a protective order is warranted, seek assistance from the attorney and law enforcement officials. Take the necessary precautionary measures, such as installing new locks on the doors and getting a security system. Eventually, life will resume the normalcy experienced prior to marrying the abusive spouse.