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Planning for Safety Before Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Palatine, IL divorce lawyerAnyone who has been in an abusive marriage has likely been asked, “Why do you not just leave?” People who have never been in this position often struggle to understand why leaving an abusive marriage is more complex than exiting almost any other type of relationship. Abusers tend to control every aspect of their spouse’s life. They may have complete control over the finances, making it impossible for you to simply go make alternate living arrangements.

Many isolate their spouse from any family members or friends they could go to for help leaving. Other abusers will use intimidation and threats to prevent their spouse from leaving. These threats may be violent or legal in nature. Making threats such as, “If you divorce me I will paint you as a bad parent and keep the kids away from you,” is quite normal in an abusive marriage. 

Although leaving a marriage is generally not as easy as people who have never experienced spousal abuse seem to often think it is, a divorce can be done with a bit of preparation and help from an attorney

Making a Safety Plan is Essential 

Getting divorced requires a bit of extra planning when your spouse is abusive. Making a safety plan before your spouse is served with divorce papers is important for keeping yourself safe. Your safety plan may include elements like: 

  • A protection order - A protection order is often a good option for abuse survivors, as it forces the abuser to leave the home. Not having a place to go is a common barrier for abused spouses looking to leave. With a protection order and a change of locks, you can remain safe and stable at home without your spouse there. 
  • Financial planning - While your spouse may control the finances, legally, you are still entitled to your fair share of the marital assets regardless of whose name the bank account is in and which spouse’s income was used to build up the assets. An attorney can help ensure that you are able to leave without sacrificing money and property that is rightfully yours. 
  • Emergency and temporary orders - If you have children in common with someone who abuses you, you can likely obtain temporary orders that allow you to keep custody of the children. Your abuser may be a danger to them, especially after learning that you are leaving. There are other areas that emergency orders may be able to help with. An attorney can guide you. 

A safety plan is an important part of preparing for divorce if your spouse is abusive toward you. 

Contact a Palatine, IL Divorce Lawyer  

The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. is skilled in representing survivors of spousal abuse. Our committed Palatine divorce attorneys will do all we can to keep you safe during your divorce. For a complimentary consultation, please call us at 847.873.6741.

Introducing The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson

Nicholas W. Richardson is an experienced divorce lawyer and mediator whose comprehensive legal knowledge, commitment to clients and reputation for results bring lasting solutions to your problems.

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