How to Divorce an Abusive Partner

Posted by Manuel A. Segarra IIIApr 19, 20150 Comments


Divorce is a difficult process for anyone who feels like it's the best decision for his or her dysfunctional marriage. Marriages fail mostly because of finances, external love affairs, loss of love and differences in perspective. However, there are some marriages that fail for different reasons entirely, one of the reasons being domestic violence.

When trapped in a violent marriage, whether physically or emotionally, it's hard to break free. Making the decision to divorce your abuser is a step in the right direction toward a better future for yourself and your family (if you have children). If you decide that this is the best option for you, the attorneys at Segarra & Associates, P.A., recommend that you follow these steps before filing for a divorce.

1. Create an Escape Plan

Creating an escape plan consists of many well thought out steps. First, you must make copies of certain paperwork to help your attorney paint a documented picture of how your family is and keep the copies at a trusted friend's house. Then you must open up a means of communication without your spouse's knowledge, such as a post office box and a disposable cellphone with prepaid minutes. Lastly, open a bank account in your name and have the statements sent to your post office box.

2. Find a Lawyer

When you start searching for a divorce lawyer, make sure it is one who has experience with domestic violence issues. A divorce lawyer with this experience will be more compassionate in regard to your situation and have more knowledge about domestic violence laws in your state. If you don't have the money to afford an attorney, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline and they will provide you with one that will volunteer their services to you.

3. Remove Yourself from the Situation

After you find a domestic violence divorce lawyer, they will be able to advise you on the best way to separate from your spouse. In most cases, a restraining order will be granted to keep your abusive spouse away from your home. If you don't feel safe, you can always move to a friend or family member's house. If you're in immediate danger, you should call the police.

4. File for Divorce

After you have safely separated from your spouse, your lawyer can file the divorce papers and serve them to your spouse. Depending on which state you live in, you can file on the grounds of abuse or cruelty. This could affect issues of alimony, property division and custody.

At Segarra & Associates, P.A., we understand that divorce is not easy on anyone, especially those involved with abusive partners. Our goal is to ensure that you move through this challenge as quickly and smoothly as possible with the help of one our dedicated Miami divorce attorneys. Contact us today for a consultation!