How to protect yourself when leaving an abusive spouse

by | Mar 5, 2018 | blog, Firm News

When it comes to divorce in Dublin area, not every break-up involves matters of the heart. An alarming number of marriages end in divorce because of drugs, alcohol and abuse problems.

If you are married to someone who mistreats you and uses drugs or alcohol, you might not understand the importance of planning your exit. The steps you take now can help to minimize the stress and harm during your divorce.

Stay strong

Find the courage to say goodbye and move on. It may seem hard when you think of all you have invested and endured in your relationship. However, you owe it to yourself and children to leave for somewhere safer. Depending on your circumstances, you should speak with an attorney who can guide you through the process. Also, you might want to inform law enforcement so you can get an emergency and longer-term protection order, seek out counseling and victim abuse resources. Regardless of how you feel and what is going on, you must do what is necessary to protect yourself and children from further harm.

Do not disobey court orders

If there is a court order that allows your spouse to spend time with the children and you fear for their safety, tell the judge. Be prepared to provide proof, such as police reports, witness statements and medical records so the judge does not see your complaint as a way to get leverage. Until the court revises that order, you must obey it, or you could find yourself in contempt of court, facing criminal charges and with an adverse custody and visitation order.

The courts take all allegations of abuse seriously. Do not feel afraid to describe the harm you and your children had to live through. The more details you can provide the authorities with, the more measures they can take to protect you and your children from your ex-spouse. The structure of the divorce settlement can also keep you from experiencing financial hardship once everything is over.