Domestic violence and abuse prevent many from pursuing a divorce that they desperately want. In many cases, victims fear retaliation if they try to leave their spouse, which could lead to more violence or perhaps severe injuries.
If you’re the victim of domestic violence and you’re seeking a divorce, it’s time to get some help — and a plan.
Follow these steps to prepare for divorce
Before you contact an attorney or file your divorce petition, you must set yourself up for success and safety. The steps you take before filing can make a big difference in your well-being throughout the divorce.
We recommend creating a safety plan when preparing to leave or divorce a violent spouse. The steps below can help with this goal:
- Begin keeping notes and photo evidence detailing your abuse.
- Get someone you trust to keep this evidence on your behalf.
- Start setting aside money in small, unnoticeable amounts.
- Look for a safe place to go before filing (family, friends, shelters, etc.).
- Have your digital devices (phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) scanned for spyware.
- Set up a new email address and stop using your old account.
- Be aware that you may need to seek a protective order to enhance your safety before, during and after the divorce.
- Consider engaging a family law attorney to aid in getting a protective order and guiding you through your divorce.
We also urge you to familiarize yourself with the many domestic violence resources in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Once you understand that help is available, you may feel less afraid of seeking a divorce.
Our lawyers invite you to continue exploring our website and blog for additional guidance for your family law needs. Keep in mind, an attorney can also help you file for a protective order against your abuser that may help you as you seek to move past your present situation.