The terms “domestic abuse” and “divorce” tend to go hand-in-hand here in Michigan, although usually when someone is asking “why she didn’t leave him sooner?” The truth is, there’s a lot involved in a divorce when the marriage is abusive and the risks are much greater. People who’ve never been in abusive relationships don’t usually understand the dangers, and the fears that victims experience.
So we’d like to break it down for our readers, both to help those who aren’t personally in abusive relationships to better understand, and to help those who are to know what they can expect (and what rights they have) during a divorce.
Violent partners can become more abusive during divorces
People who physically and psychologically abuse their spouses do so for a variety of reasons that usually have to do with mental and emotional issues. Divorce is a stressful time, and usually exacerbates problems like this, bringing out the worst in abusive spouses. The situation can be made even more unbearable if the abused spouse is the one who initiated the divorce.
Dealing with abusive partner is emotionally exhausting, and often requires all the reserves a person has available just to make it through the day. Initiating a divorce can feel like starting an insurmountable task for abuse victims. Not to mention the added fear of how their abusive spouse will react when they tell them they’re leaving (and usually taking the kids with them!). Courage to take the first step is usually the hardest part of the process.
Victims of domestic abuse don’t always have the luxury of choices.
For some people, moving out before you file for divorce might not be a good idea, as it may affect which assets you end up with (in some specific cases, you’re less likely to get the house if you’re the one who moved out and your spouse stayed there). But victims of domestic abuse don’t always get the luxury of being able to choose to stay and stick out the divorce process in their own homes.
When you have an abusive and violent spouse, staying in the home during the divorce process can be dangerous, and in some cases deadly! If your life is in danger, then the most important thing is to get out and get to safety before you file for divorce. If your kids are at risk, then unless there’s a court order preventing you, you should take them with you when you go. However, if you have the chance to talk to an attorney and get some advice before you make any decisions, then we recommend you do that (even if your conversation with your attorney is a secret.)
We can help you with this difficult and frightening decision
Here at The Kronzek Firm, our experienced family law attorneys have helped many people to get out of abusive marriages over the years. We understand the difficulties you’re facing, and can help you navigate the legal system to ensure your future safety, and the safety of your children. Join us next time for more pointers on leaving an abusive spouse, and the factors you need to keep in mind during the divorce process. We’re available 24/7 at 866 766 5245.