Advice for Those Planning to Divorce an Abusive Spouse
Domestic violence is shockingly common in the United States. Although many experiencing the torture of familial abuse do not show it on the outside, they are secretly suffering. If you have decided to end your marriage due to your spouse’s abusive or intimidating behavior, first take a moment to congratulate yourself. You have started a journey that will certainly be challenging, but will ultimately lead to greater safety for you and your family. Leaving an abusive spouse may feel overwhelming, but keep in mind that you do not have to do it alone.
The Worst Thing You Can Do Is Stay Silent
One of the most difficult things about leaving an abusive partner is actually acknowledging the abuse. Many people feel ashamed to admit that they need help leaving a violent spouse—even though the shame should be felt by the abuser. Those affected by domestic violence sometimes still love and care for their abuser and therefore delay involving authorities because they worry about how it will hurt the abuser or his or her career. Other victims of domestic violence simply do not understand that there are avenues to safety which they can take even with no actual evidence of the abuse.
Anyone who feels they are in danger can obtain an Emergency Order of Protection by simply requesting one at their local county courthouse and providing testimony regarding the danger. Whether it is calling the police, filing a petition for an order of protection, or simply informing a friend or family member of the situation, it is vital that you do not stay silent if you are being abused by a spouse.
Abusive Spouses and Questions of Child Custody
The U.S court system takes the safety of children very seriously. If your spouse has acted abusively either mentally, physically, or emotionally to your children, he or she will probably not receive the majority of parental responsibilities or parenting time. In fact, if the abuse was severe or the courts believe it will continue, an abusive parent may end up with no legal rights to his or her children. Even if an abuser was only violent toward his or her spouse and did not hurt the children, this could affect the court’s custody decision. When determining custody orders, the court’s foremost responsibility is to do what is in the child’s best interests.
Hire a Competent Divorce Attorney with Experience Representing Victims of Domestic Violence
There are many complications that accompany divorces involving domestic violence. If you wish to divorce your abusive spouse, it is imperative that you retain an attorney who will fight for your rights as a victim. Contact the Geneva IL Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today to discuss your case with a skilled Kane County divorce lawyer. Call us at 630-232-9700.