Making the decision to leave a violent or abusive partner can seem daunting. Many victims of marital abuse do divorce their partners, and you can too. Here are some strategies to help you begin the process of separation and divorce.
DECIDE THAT YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES
The psychological manipulation of a violent partner is disempowering for many victims, but you can learn to overcome that mindset. Once you have made the decision to divorce, your future lies in your own hands. This might be intimidating today, but in the end it will have been the first step to a new life.
CREATE A PLAN
Make a list of everything you have to do. The list should be divided into short-term and long-term goals. One of the first steps should be to hire an attorney. A good divorce lawyer can help you with urgent legal matters so that you can move on to the other steps, which might include finding temporary housing, opening a bank account, finding a job or buying a car.
ASK FOR HELP
There are many people in your life who are eager to help you leave your abuser. Start building your support network by asking for the assistance you need, whether it's moving to a new home or arranging childcare so you can go to job interviews. There are many public agencies that offer career counseling free of charge, as well as support groups and shelters. Learn to ask for what you need.
PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR KIDS
It is essential that you disclose to your attorney the full details of your partner's violent tendencies. Your attorney will advise you as to the need for an order of protection. The type and duration of the order issued depends on the specific circumstances. Once the order is in place, you might need to relocate temporarily to a shelter or a place they will not think to look for you. Violent partners typically escalate during separation and divorce.
A highly skilled and sensitive divorce lawyer is one of your greatest allies in leaving an abusive spouse. The law can provide some element of protection for you and your children while you are sorting out your life. Call Steven M. Bishop of San Diego at 619-299-9780, or contact us online to get the legal support you need.