Time To Get Out Of An Abusive Marriage? 5 Steps You Should Take
It's never easy to file for divorce. If you're the victim of domestic abuse, it can be even more difficult. You should never stay in an abusive relationship. However, you should take precautions before you file for divorce. Here are some steps you should take that will help an attorney, such as Wade Bettis, J.D., Ph.D., PC, get you the protection you need.
Seek Medical Care
Embarrassment or fear may keep you from seeking medical care. However, when it comes time for your divorce, you're going to need documentation to prove abuse. If you've never sought medical care before, as soon as you realize it's time to end your marriage, you'll need to seek medical care for your injuries, even if they're minor.
Pictures are an excellent way to document your injuries. Keep your phone or a camera handy. Take pictures of your injuries while they're fresh. If you're unable to take your own pictures, have a trusted friend or family member take the pictures for you. Keep copies of the pictures in a safe location.
Join a Support Group
Don't go it alone. Find a support group in your area. If you're afraid that your spouse will find out, locate a support group that's not in your community. There are people who have gone through the same thing you're going through. They will be able to help you through the process.
Make Plans To Leave
Once you've decided to leave, you may need to plan your escape. This is particularly important if you fear that your spouse will get more violent once you try to leave. You're going to need clothing and personal documents when you leave. Prior to leaving, rent a small storage unit. This will give you a safe place to store the items you'll need once you leave. Pay cash for the storage unit so that your spouse won't see the fees on any bank statements.
Seek Legal Advice
As soon as you're ready to leave, it's important that you seek legal advice. Take all of your documentation with you to your first appointment with your attorney. In most cases, your attorney will help you obtain an order of protection. Your attorney will also be able to help you locate a safe shelter for you.
If you're in an abusive relationship, you need to seek help as soon as possible. The steps outlined above will help you prepare to leave. Once you're ready, be sure to seek legal advice. Your attorney will be able to provide you with the help you need in order to stay safe during the process.