The threat of divorce can quickly escalate the violence in an already abusive marriage. Fearing their husband’s reaction, many women stay in violent relationships longer than they should. As a California divorce attorney who exclusively represents women, we have seen too many of our clients struggle to break free from abusive marriages. If you are that afraid your husband will use physical violence against you if you try to leave, or that he will retaliate by seizing assets and cutting you off financially, you need to plan your exit and take some important steps before you actually leave.
What to Do Before Leaving an Abusive Marriage
Your relationship and the situation you are in are unique to you, so not all of these actions will apply to you, nor may they all be safe for you to take. However, it’s important to consider every possibility when planning to leave someone who may react violently. We recommend taking these steps as a starting point:
- Open a bank account and post office box in your own name.
- Get a cell phone contract in your own name.
- Change passwords on all of your individual accounts, including social media.
- Make copies of important documents, such as the lease or deed to your home, birth certificates, passport, insurance papers, car registration, etc., and leave them with a trusted friend.
- Secure a place to go, whether that means renting an apartment or staying with a friend or family member.
- Leave money and extra clothes, keys, and medications with someone you trust in case you have to leave suddenly.
- File for a restraining order against your spouse if you believe there is an immediate reasonable threat to your safety.
If you have not already filed for divorce, you might want to discuss your options with an attorney who will be able to offer additional advice for leaving your marriage while protecting yourself and your children.
Call the Nathan Law Offices for the Reliable Advice You Need
You are not required to hire a lawyer to handle your divorce in California, but when you feel that your safety and the safety of your children is at risk, an attorney can provide peace of mind. When you choose to work with attorney Paul Nathan, you can be sure that he will be there through the entire process to handle paperwork, disputes, and answer any and every question or concern you may have. If you need to get out of an abusive marriage in San Francisco or Marin County, contact the Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan for a consultation by filling out our contact form on this page.