There may be no worse situation for a married woman that trying to leave an abusive husband. This situation requires both caution and planning. This will be a time when you will need to lean on family and friends. In many cases, they are already aware of the abuse, so getting them involved will not present a significant challenge.
The thought of losing his wife is sometimes enough to push an abusive husband over the edge. Because of this, you must have a plan in place before you leave. Part of that plan should be to protect yourself during the process. That first step may be to have a restraining order in place when you leave. At the very least, this will provide protection from the law just in case he tried something foolish upon hearing the news.
It is often best to plan to spend some time with a family member or friend that will always have someone at home during this process. This provides you a witness in case he breaks the restraining order as well as some comfort and support. He may be less likely to approach you if he knows there is someone else there.
If there are children in the home, taking them with you should be in your plans. Not only does he present a potential danger to the children when he finds out you have left, but it can also hurt your case for custody. If you left because he was abusive, how will the judge look at you for leaving your children behind?
In most states, mediation is not required or can be waived in cases of abuse. This is significant in dividing assets and custody of the children. Your divorce attorney can guide you through the process as well as help you gather the proper proof of abuse needed to ensure you tip the scales in your favor when it comes time to go to trial.
Leaving an abusive spouse is never easy. Fear alone keeps many women firmly planted even though they know they are literally risking their life by staying in the home. If you are being abused by your husband, contact a divorce attorney and begin to strategize your exit as well as beginning the process of securing a restraining order to protect you once you are out of the home.