A divorce can help you start a new life; however, if you are leaving an abusive relationship, divorce can put you in danger. And it is up to you to protect yourself and your children from a possibly violent ex. If you are facing a high-conflict divorce, you should not hesitate to hire a tacoma divorce attorney to protect your rights and help you go through the process without fear of retaliation. The following are the steps your attorney may recommend to stay safe during your divorce:
Establish a Safety Plan
If you want to save yourself from an abusive relationship or marriage, create a long-term safety plan immediately. This will help you prepare the things you may need to survive if you are ready to exit. First, ensure you have a place to go when you move out and money to help you and your children get by. Consider consulting a financial planner to help you handle your finances and set future goals for you.
Contact the Police If Domestic Violence Occurs
If you feel threatened or have been harmed by your spouse, call law enforcement immediately. This way, the domestic violence won’t escalate and you can find a safer place for you and your children without your violent ex chasing you. Consider seeking a protective order if a history or pattern of family violence exists. But, you need to provide evidence of family violence to be issued with this order. If you cannot secure a protective order, consider getting a restraining order. Your lawyer knows the best option for you and your children.
Meet with Your Ex in Crowded or Visible Places
If you should meet your ex, especially if you share custody of your kids, make sure to meet in a public or highly visible location and bring someone you know to keep you safe. Ensure you have your phone with you in case you have to call 911 or document a threatening behavior.
Hire an Attorney
Divorce lawyers counsel clients who want to exit abusive relationships to offer legal advice, resources, and support. Your attorney can recommend experts like a family therapist or financial planner, suggest resources to find employment, and help you find a safe place to stay. Also, your attorney will help you prepare for your divorce and look for legal documents to keep you and your children safe. They will suggest some safety options before and after you file for divorce.