Abuse is unfortunately all too common in marriages. According to statistics, 25% of women and 16% of men will experienced serious physical violence in an intimate relationship. Many more will suffer threats of physical violence, terrorism, and emotional abuse. If you are currently abused in your marriage, or if someone you care about is, realize that help is available.
Seek an Order of Protection
A protection order (also known as a “restraining order”) is a judicial order that prohibits an abuser from coming near you or contacting you. You can also ask the judge for other conditions, such as getting custody of your children and having your spouse move out of the house.
You can get an immediate temporary order of protection by requesting one at the courthouse. You can do this while filing for divorce or as a separate proceeding. This order will be good until the judge can hold a hearing on whether a permanent order is necessary. You must convince the judge that your spouse has threatened or committed domestic violence.
If your spouse violates the order, you can ask the police to arrest him and ask the judge to hold your spouse in contempt. As a result, your spouse could go to jail, pay a fine, or have additional conditions imposed on him.
Find Your Nearest Shelter
Sometimes, you need to get out of the house quickly. Look online or in the phone book for the address and phone number of shelters near you. Write down the phone numbers and keep them in a safe place where your abuser cannot find it.
Once at a shelter, staff can tell you about resources they offer, such as legal assistance or transportation. Get the help you need so that you can get back on your feet.
Hire an Attorney
A lawyer can help protect your rights and make the divorce easier if you are being abused. For example, your lawyer can receive your mail for you and help you set up separate financial accounts. An attorney can also help you gather important financial records, such as birth certificates and Social Security cards. Most importantly, a lawyer can handle obtaining an order of protection and making sure that it is enforced.
Contact Us Today
Our Albany Divorce Lawyers have helped numerous abuse victims regain their independence and their livelihoods. To talk with one of our lawyers, you can schedule your confidential, no risk consultation today.