Divorce is stressful. When you are afraid of the person that you are divorcing it is obviously worse. In this situation, it is important to be cautious from the moment you make the decision to leave. A skilled family law attorney is necessary if your safety or the safety of your children is a concern. They will have more experience in keeping things discreet and getting things moving quickly.
There are extra measures divorcees have to take when spousal abuse is a factor. In California, part of that is understanding the law. A lawyer can help to wade through what the law considers abuse or domestic violence. The language is pretty simple, but with the right attorney, abuse can be explained away leaving the abused vulnerable again.
Come up with a plan
Leaving an abusive relationship increases the likelihood of violence. Coming up with a quick and easy way out increases the chances that things will go smoothly. The National Domestic Violence Hotline gives good advice on devising a general safety plan. The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence is an amazing resource for creating a plan that suits your family and situation.
Starting the legal process
Lawyers cannot help what they do not know. You have taken yourself out of harm’s way, now you will begin the legal journey that is divorce and domestic violence. This is where a really experienced family law attorney is important. You must be open and honest so that they know the best course of action.
One of the most common courses of action in domestic violence cases is a domestic violence prevention order. This is an order from the court with provisions for your safety. According to this order, your spouse would have to vacate your home, avoid further contact, and stop abusing you. In addition to this, you may have the temporary right to full custody of your children with child and spousal support payments. This would provide protection for you and you could apply for a separate one for your child. In some ways, these can be made to fit your circumstances, but they can only reach so far in other areas, so make sure that your lawyer knows everything.
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) if you are in a domestic violence situation to find resources near you.