Divorce is chock full of issues and concerns. However, you deal with a whole different set of problems when considering divorcing a violent spouse, especially when you have children. If you are ready to get out of an abusive relationship, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure you and your kids are safe during this transition.
Keep in mind the following items as you make this life-altering shift.
Document Every Incident
Keep a detailed report of each incident of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse that involves you or your children. Be sure to record when (date and time), where, what occurred, and any injuries that were sustained. Take screenshots of text messages, record phone calls, save voice messages, and take photos of your injuries. This journal of sorts will help protect you and your kids if you need to go court. You must keep this information stored somewhere safe, where your abuser will not find it.
Make a Safety Plan
A safety plan is a plan that maps out ways for you to be safe while in an abusive relationship if you are planning to leave, and once you have left. This plan includes ways to manage your feelings, talk to your friends and family about the abuse, take legal action, and more. If you aren’t sure where to start, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help or review their website for more information. Save some money, stash clothes and other daily essentials, and find a safe place to stay. Do not go somewhere that your abuser will guess. Stay in a hotel with a gym buddy or coworker your spouse does not know.
Get Custody and a Protective Order
The minute you can, after you leave, go to court to get an emergency protective order that gives you custody of your children, even though the order will be temporary. This will allow you to keep your children and require your abusive spouse to stay away from all of you. It is important to make full custody part of your protective order to avoid being accused of kidnapping your kids. A judge will determine your family’s long-term plans for custody and a protective order.
Find Legal Representation
The end of a marriage is challenging, but when you add violence to the equation, it immediately becomes even more difficult. A lawyer will help you with the logistical part of exiting the relationship and assist you in making difficult decisions for you and your children. They will help ensure your safety and protect your rights.
Contact The Ault Firm
If you and your children are victims of abuse, call the professionals at The Ault Firm today. Domestic violence is never acceptable, and we want to help. Our knowledgeable team of attorneys will help you navigate this process, helping you succeed and regain control of your life. We want to help you overcome the challenging obstacles you are facing. If you need representation from a Salt Lake City domestic violence attorney, contact The Ault Firm to schedule your consultation today.