Ending a marriage when domestic violence and abuse are present nearly always seems risky. The abused spouse typically feels that a divorce will only provoke their abusive spouse into more violence. Unfortunately, escalation and more violence are possible in many cases.
In our time serving Chicago, Illinois residents, we have seen abused spouses suffer the consequences of filing for divorce without a safety plan. We have learned from these cases and wish to pass our knowledge on to others contemplating divorce in the presence of domestic violence.
Safety tips for divorcing when violence is possible
Some people have trouble controlling their emotions in even the most mundane situations. When the prospect of divorce arises, it could trigger a violent reaction in such individuals. If this is a possibility for you, consider following the tips below:
- Speak with an attorney about your circumstances before filing. Together, you can brainstorm ways to enhance your safety. In some cases, getting a protective order against the abuser can keep you and your family safe. A lawyer can also guide you in protecting your home and your finances.
- Make an exit plan before leaving your spouse or requesting a divorce. Arrange to stay with a trusted friend or family member until the risk of violence ends.
- Start setting aside some money before you leave. Even a few dollars a week can make a big difference in your ability to support yourself after leaving your spouse.
- Make a list of the many domestic violence agencies and organizations located in Chicago (or your location). If you need emergency shelter or other assistance, you will have these resources to lean on.
When you are ready to leave, take any children and pets you have with you. An irrationally angry spouse could lash out at your loved ones to get back at you for seeking a divorce.
If you need additional information about divorce or domestic violence, please continue reviewing our firm’s website. You may also contact us for individualized assistance.