If you are a victim of domestic violence, one of the most challenging decisions you may ever have to face is divorcing your spouse. Many people who have suffered at the hands of their partners are often afraid to leave them. The trauma of everything endured can make the divorce process more stressful and devastating than it should be.
As a resident of Maryland, you have the option of filing for a no-fault and fault grounds divorce. Since your situation has a history of violence, it may be beneficial for you to file for a fault grounds divorce because there is no waiting period.
To qualify for a faults grounds separation because of domestic violence, you must prove your soon-to-be-ex-spouse exposed you and your kids to harm and endangered your lives and health and created unsafe living conditions. Take some time to consider the following actions you can take to protect yourself and loved ones from further domestic violence abuse and trauma during and after your divorce:
Stop living with your abuser
It is important for you to think of you and your kids’ safety. If you are still living with your spouse, you should consider alternative living arrangements. Divorce tends to bring out the worst in some people. Individuals who are abusive towards their spouses tend to become more aggressive and abusive when divorce proceedings are underway. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to get a protective order against your spouse as well.
Stay aware of your situation
Abuse is not always physical. Sometimes, people abuse others mentally. If you are a victim of physical abuse, there is a chance you are suffering some residual effects of emotional abuse. The long-term effects of domestic violence can dull you to some of its effects and make you more susceptible to any mental tactics your spouse may try.
It is important for you not to let your emotions preside over your rationality during this time in your life. Your emotions may be all over the place, and if you are not careful, they could have an adverse effect on decisions you make during your divorce. Remember, the actions and decisions you make now can have a significant impact on your post-divorce life.
Get an attorney
Because you have kids and there may be some issues with child custody, alimony and asset division. You may want to work with an attorney. She or he can help keep you from being intimidated and taken advantage of by your spouse. An attorney can also help you keep track of the big picture and make decisions that are beneficial to your current and future circumstances and safety.
As much as you may want to leave your spouse, you should take time to consider your options. You have rights and can use them to gain control of your situation. The wrong decisions can lead to complications in your divorce and may affect you and your kids’ safety.