Leaving a violent relationship is extremely difficult and divorcing an abuser can be a constant uphill battle that feels nearly impossible to win. This is especially true if the children were also abused during the relationship, or if the parent victim believes the abuser may lash out at the children. As such, it is critical that victims understand the potential hurdles they may face during a divorce and how they may best be able to ensure safety throughout the process and beyond.
The absolute most important thing anyone divorcing an abuser can do is develop a safety plan. This requires the victim to utilize all the skills and knowledge they have acquired up to the point of separation and to acquire some new ones. For example, a victim likely already knows when to disengage from a conversation or an argument because they know their abuser’s trigger points and behaviors. However, more resources, such as coworkers, family, and friends may need to be notified of the current situation so they can help spot the abuser and notify the victim.
A protection order should also be filed with the court. Although it can (and sometimes is) violated by the abuser, having the documentation can go a long way when dealing with an abuser who shows up at a victim’s home or place or employment. Moreover, there are far more protection orders that are adhered to than there are orders ignored.
The Risk of Parental Alienation Claims
While parental alienation does exist and does happen, there are cases of domestic violence in which the abuser claims the victim is alienating them from their children. This can have severe consequences for the victim, including loss or restriction of parental rights and, in some cases, even criminal charges. As such, victims should adhere to all aspects of the law, avoid making negative statements to or in front of children, and always obtain legal counsel when domestic violence is an issue.
With more than 200 years of combined experience, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Skilled, experienced, and compassionate, we provide victims of domestic violence with the comprehensive and personalized legal representation they need. Call us today at 630-932-9100 to schedule your free initial consultation with our DuPage County divorce attorneys.
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