Divorce may never be easy. For someone who is married to an abusive spouse, this process may be even more difficult. Emotions may be high for both spouses. The abusive spouse may be angry.
The spouse who suffered the abuse may already be aware that they need to be even more careful than they’ve been in the past. They are the most in danger as they prepare to leave their marriage.
Find an advocate
An advocate may be a close friend who understands what the abused spouse has been through. The advocate may also be a lawyer who is experienced with divorce cases.
In a divorce where both spouses are friendly, emotions may rise, leading to angry words. In an abusive marriage, the abused spouse may be at higher risk as they leave the marriage. Their lawyer may advise them of this and work to protect their client and any children from the marriage.
Domestic violence risks go up when an abused spouse leaves the home
An abusive spouse may have traits of a personality disorder. This may become worse in difficult times or when their spouse decides to leave. The abusive spouse may act out with abuse, putting their spouse in danger.
Have a safe plan ready
The abusive spouse may either abuse the spouse who is leaving the marriage or they may make false allegations against their spouse, trying to discredit them.
Be ready legally
The spouse who is leaving the marriage should gather legal information as quickly as they can. If their spouse tries to threaten them, having documentation and legal information ready may protect them.
Keep your emotions safe
The abused spouse should be ready to protect themselves emotionally. They may know that their spouse could become vindictive.
Keep emotions out of your communications
As they communicate with their spouse, the abused spouse should keep all emotion out of anything they write or say to their spouse.