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How Should I Deal With an Abusive Spouse During Our Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney

Domestic abuse can come in many forms — emotional, sexual, or even physical. Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon occurrence in the United States. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 12 million men and women are victims of domestic abuse each year. It can be difficult to get out of an abusive relationship, especially when you are married to your abuser. Not only do you have to make the decision to leave your spouse, but you also have to go through the legal process of ending the relationship. This can be stressful for someone who is divorcing an abusive partner, especially if the type of abuse they are experiencing is verbal or emotional. Here are some things you should do if you are divorcing an abusive spouse:

Get an Order of Protection

The first step you should take if you are divorcing an abusive spouse is getting an order of protection. This is a legal order that can prohibit your spouse from doing certain things, such as living in the family home or contacting you in any way. An order of protection can also order your spouse to do certain things, such as pay child support or attend counseling. The exact contents of an order of protection depends on your situation, but getting an order of protection can be a good way to protect yourself and your children.

Take Steps to Protect Your Privacy

You should also begin to take steps to protect your privacy during the divorce. Open a post office box in your name so you can receive mail without the fear of it being intercepted. If you can, get your own cell phone plan so you do not have to worry about your spouse tracking you or monitoring your phone calls. You should also find a place outside of your home where you can safely store important documents, such as copies of your birth certificate, social security card, and financial information that you will need during the divorce.

Separate Your Finances as Much as Possible

It is also important that you begin trying to financially-distance yourself from your spouse as much as you can. One of the first things you should do here is to open a new bank account in your name only where you can begin to deposit money that your spouse cannot access. If you are able to, remove your name from any joint debt that you share with your spouse. You should also open up at least one credit card in your own name as well.

Immediately Speak with a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Ending a relationship with a spouse who abuses you is extremely difficult, but is the best thing you can do for you and your family. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we have experience dealing with difficult divorce cases, such as those involving an abusive spouse. Our skilled team of Elmhurst, IL divorce lawyers can offer legal remedies no matter if your spouse was abusive during the marriage or just began being abusive during the divorce. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 312-605-4041.

 

Sources:

https://www.thehotline.org/resources/statistics/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/for-divorcing-women-espec_b_2141986

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/abuse-in-marriage-divorce_b_6538094

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