Unfortunately, not all marriages end up in the fairytale, happily-ever-after scenario that many people dream of. People can drift apart from one another, opinions and lifestyles can change rapidly, and sometimes situations can get out of control and completely beyond repair.
In this article, we will discuss the delicate topic of going through a divorce as a victim of domestic violence and what this process entails.
What You Should Know About Going Through Divorce as a Victim of Domestic Violence
Understandably, this is an extremely sensitive topic that can often be emotionally charged. It is crucial to remain as objective as possible by defining what domestic violence actually is and the importance of removing yourself from the situation and any potential danger that you may be in.
Let’s get straight into it.
Definition of Domestic Violence
If we have a better understanding of what domestic violence is, we can more easily identify it when we are going through it. Knowing how to identify domestic violence can also help us spot it more easily when it is happening to other people.
There are many misunderstandings about what constitutes domestic violence; that’s why it is vital to raise awareness around the subject to inform and empower people who may be experiencing this ugly behavior.
The first and most critical point to remember is that domestic violence does not always entail physical abuse alone. Many other factors come into play.
Domestic violence is a “pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power over another partner.”
This can occur due to any of the following behaviors:
As you can see, a lot of the things on this list do not include direct physical harm; that is only one aspect of domestic violence, and it is, of course, the easiest to define. However, domestic violence includes emotional, sexual, economic, and spiritual abuse.
These are harder to detect and define, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t real. If you experience things such as:
- Phone monitoring
- Running up debt in the victim’s name
- Forbidding victims from seeing friends/going out
then you may be considered to be a victim of domestic violence.
Domestic violence can occur to anyone, regardless of their gender, age, sexual orientation, race, religion, education, or profession. It is reported that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience some form of domestic violence in their lives. If you are going through this, you should consult with domestic violence attorneys to have the best solution.
Think About Your Safety
Let’s put things into perspective. If you are in a situation where you are experiencing domestic violence, then you need to act quickly to secure your safety and the safety of any children or other people in the situation. The divorce proceedings are important, but safety comes first.
If you are currently experiencing this situation, then you have the power to get out right now. You can call 911 and remove yourself and any others from the situation before the situation escalates.
A lot of victims of domestic violence are afraid to speak up due to the feared consequence of what might come their way after calling for help. Unfortunately, this irrational thought process is very common. This is why it is important to define domestic violence as objectively as possible.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and experience one or more of the behaviors that we listed above, you are well within your rights to get out of that situation immediately.
Law enforcement takes domestic violence claims very seriously and will do their utmost to protect you. You can file for a restraining order, which will give you plenty of time to take the next steps and move forward from the situation.
How Domestic Violence Can Affect a Divorce
After you have secured your safety, the next thing you should do is contact a domestic violence attorney as the laws in each state vary.
Some states allow fault-based divorce, while others do not. With the help of an appropriately trained attorney, you will have a much easier time navigating these laws to ensure that you are building a solid case against the accused.
In states where domestic violence can be cited in court as the reason for divorce, then the court will almost always favor the victim in discussions surrounding settlement. Still, again, this all depends on the specific laws in your state.
Above all, keep yourself safe and be prepared to step away and seek help when you need to.
Douglas Parker handles content management and communications for Manshoory Law Group, APC. He has always had a special interest in the sphere of Law and Human Rights. Dedicating a lot of his free time to understanding the small details and specifics of these fields, Douglas enjoys exploring and analyzing them in his articles. His main goal is to make this sometimes complicated information available and transparent for everyone. www.manshoorylaw.com