Victims of domestic violence or spousal abuse are often paralyzed by fear.
The mere thought of the abusing spouse winning custody of the child/ren or the loss of economic security leads to inaction and the continuation of the abusive relationship. Domestic violence takes many forms. It can be physical or mental and often involves psychological intimidation. The actions of abusers are meant to establish control and create fear. Very often the abusive spouse is overly controlling of not only their spouse, but also the marital property and income.
Domestic Violence – What You and an Attorney Can Do
Being subjected to any form of domestic violence can leave you with genuine fear for the safety of yourself and your child/ren. You may feel that co-existing in the marital home is no longer a safe option. By consulting an attorney experienced in helping victims of domestic violence, you can take the appropriate and necessary legal action that will stop the abuser from engaging in harassing and menacing behavior and if it is warranted a judge may even order the abuser to leave the marital residence. This is called an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection can be obtained in family court, supreme court or criminal court and is usually obtained "ex parte," which means the party against whom the order of protection is being sought is not present in court at the initial hearing.
An experienced domestic violence attorney can help you obtain an Order of Protection and plan your divorce from your abusive spouse step-by-step. You will need written records of all incidents of violence including exact dates and times, and if possible, police reports, pictures, and medical records of injuries.
For anyone preparing for a divorce, and especially where there is domestic violence, it is important that you keep records of the following:
A copy all of financial records including; rent or mortgage statements, bank statements, credit card statements, utility bills, medical bills, and records of insurance. If your spouse knows that you have made copies of financial documents, he/she may sense that you want to leave and get very upset. For this reason, do not let your spouse know that you have made copies of financial records.
The children's progress in school, including report cards, teacher's notes, records of attendance, and after-school activities.
The children's medical records
Do not let fear paralyze you from taking action in the best interest of you and your children. A lawyer from Greenberg Bryant & Bleier, LLP will stand up for you. We will give you advice regarding division of the marital assets, spousal maintenance (alimony), the custody of your children, visitation, and your divorce. The long-term well-being of yourself and your children is at stake stake you are making these important decisions. You should not face these life-altering choices alone A lawyer at Greenberg Bryant & Bleier, LLP can help to make sure that you and your children are safe and your financial interests are protected.