Knowing how to protect yourself during a divorce is no joke. Believe it or not, almost one in four of all violent crimes committed in the United States is some type of domestic violence. If you’ve been in an emotionally or physical abusive marriage, things can get worse when divorce enters the scene. With emotions running high and power struggles over the details of the divorce (or the divorce itself), situations can get dangerous.
How to Protect Yourself During a Divorce
To help keep yourself and your kids protected, remember to do the following:
Know what abuse is
Domestic violence isn’t just physical abuse; it can also include psychological and emotional abuse. Report any conduct that includes hitting, kicking, pushing, sexual assault, fear-inducing actions like making threats, stalking or destroying personal property.
Gather your support system
When you’re going through a divorce, you need a dependable support system. This is especially true if you have been or are currently the victim of domestic violence. Tell your family and friends that you need their support and help during this trying time. That way, they’ll have the heads up to help when you need it.
Get a restraining order
A temporary restraining order is an order from a judge that prohibits the abuser from coming to the home, workplace or other areas where you (the victim) might be. A temporary restraining order can also force the abuser to vacate the home you share.
Don’t be afraid to call the police
If you’re ever in danger or feel threatened, don’t hesitate to call the police. The police are there to help victims of domestic violence and can physically remove the abuser from your home if necessary.
Get good advice
If you’re going through a divorce, your attorney should be your greatest ally. He or she can help you get the help you need if you ever feel threatened or in physical or emotional danger. Make sure your attorney knows all the pertinent details of your relationship with your spouse so that he or she help you know how to protect yourself during a divorce.