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How to protect yourself when divorcing an abusive spouse

| May 14, 2019 | Firm News |

One of the most heartbreaking reasons that people wind up ending their marriage is because of domestic violence. When you fall in love with someone, you may overlook the warning signs of a bad temper or abusive habits. Abusive people often intentionally suppress their worst impulses in the early stages of a relationship. By the time you realize how bad things are, you are probably very dependent on your ex.

Many times, people enjoy their marriage for many years before violence becomes an issue. People can change as life goes on, leading to distance and resentment within the marriage. Also, the stresses of modern life can eventually lead someone to reveal a darker side to themselves they had long kept in check.

Whether you have dealt with increasing violence and abuse over many weeks or are leaving after the first dangerous outburst, you will need help to successfully exit an abusive marriage. There are many considerations, from protecting yourself to keeping your kids safe during and after the divorce.

Obtaining a Georgia restraining order can help if you feel endangered

For many victims of abuse, leaving their partner is one of the most dangerous times of their life. Those who become physically violent and aggressive may get triggered by a divorce, resulting in worsening behavior. If you worry that getting served with divorce paperwork could push your spouse to lash out, then you might want to consider securing a restraining order.

You can work with an attorney to build your case for a restraining order. Generally speaking, Georgia courts will approve a restraining order for those who have suffered physical violence, as well as psychological abuse or even financial abuse. Anything from text messages that show threatening behavior to photographs of your injuries or testimony from your neighbors can help corroborate your claims.

Prepare yourself for a complicated custody case

You may feel that the circumstances involving physical or emotional abuse should be straightforward enough to allow the courts to rule in your favor in custody proceedings. However, Georgia courts want to act in the best interest of the children, which typically means helping them preserve relationships with both of their parents.

You will have to demonstrate to the courts that your ex having shared custody is not in the best interest of the children. It is possible to do so, but it will take careful planning and gathering of evidence to protect your children in court.

If you hope to leave an abusive marriage behind you, the best thing you can do for yourself is to sit down with an experienced family law attorney. Your lawyer can act as a legal support as you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and the children in your family.

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