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Tips for divorcing an abusive spouse

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Family Law

Walking away from an abusive spouse is a difficult situation because the abuser may insist upon making the process more challenging than it has to be. If you’re in this situation, you may realize that planning for a divorce before filing is often necessary.

If you’re interested in walking away from an abusive spouse, these tips can help you to get started.

Always make safety a priority

You must ensure that you and your children remain safe as you’re leaving an abusive relationship. One of the first things you must do is to ensure you have a safety plan. You should have a safe place to go, a way to change phone numbers and trusted individuals you can turn to for help.

If you’re in immediate danger, be sure you seek appropriate help. This may involve calling the authorities, contacting a domestic violence hotline and seeking a protected shelter.

Gather all documents you’ll need

There are certain documents you’ll need as you’re going through a contentious divorce. Getting these together early can be beneficial so you aren’t scrambling to try to do this in the heat of a dangerous situation.

You need to get legal and financial documents, including financial records, your marriage certificate, your and your children’s birth certificates, deeds and any other important information. While originals of these documents are ideal, having copies may work in some cases.

Retain proof of everything related to the divorce

You may also need to have proof of the abuse. This may include medical records, photos and communications, such as texts or emails.

Abusive individuals often try to drag out divorce proceedings. They may even turn to lies to get their way. One option for combatting this is to have documentation of everything related to the divorce. Keep proof of all communication between you and your ex. This includes any negotiations about divorce terms or instances of harassment. You should also keep copies of any financial contributions you make to the divorce.

It may behoove you to have a legal representative who can assist with working out the terms of the divorce. They can work to protect your rights and help to ensure that you understand your options at each step of the process.