Domestic violence (also known as “family violence”) encompasses any type of harm committed between individuals who are family members, intimate partners, or even previous household members. The state of Georgia also defines family violence as more than just physically harming an individual. Instead, domestic violence includes acts like harassment, criminal damage to property, and stalking, as well. If you have been a victim of domestic violence by an abusive partner, you might be considering divorce. The following are some techniques that might help a domestic violence victim stay safe while pursuing a divorce.
Make a Plan to Stay Safe
If you currently reside with your abuser, you should make sure to have an exit plan. If you have children, you should also inform them that they should never attempt to protect you and should instead find a location where they can remain safe if violent encounters occur.
Document the Abuse
It is important to make notes about when the abuse occurred, particularly if you decide not to involve law enforcement. To document your abuse, you should take photos of the injury site as well as write down details about when the abuse occurred. If you see a medical professional for the injuries, you should make sure to obtain records of your injuries because these documents can be used to establish that the severity and frequency of your injuries.
Leave the House if You are Worried About Safety
If your spouse is violent, it is critical to take all of the steps necessary to protect your safety as well as the safety of your children. Once you are physically safe, then you will be better able to pursue a divorce. If you do decide to leave your house, it is a good idea to first speak with a knowledgeable attorney to make sure that you can do so without encountering any problems.
If Necessary, File Criminal Charges
There are several additional crimes that a person who commits domestic violence in Georgia can be charged with including assault, criminal trespass, and stalking. If you are going through a divorce and believe your partner committed any of these offenses, you may be able to initiate legal charges against your former spouse.
Find a Strong Support Base
Emotional support is vital to someone going through the end of a marriage. In addition to surrounding yourself with family and friends, some people find it is particularly helpful to speak with a mental health professional following a divorce from an abusive partner.
Find a Pattern That Works for You
There is no one size fits all answer for the victims of domestic violence. Instead, judges are known to approve a variety of different measures. Some of the solutions that are known to work in domestic violence cases include giving possession of the home and excluding the other party from the residence, evicting the abusive spouse from the home, ordering support payments, or granting temporary child custody. Everyone’s situation is different, however, and the pattern that worked for someone else you might know will not always work for you. Fortunately, an experienced family law attorney can help you determine what option works best for you.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
There are a number of unique and complex factors of divorces that involve domestic violence. If you find yourself in such a situation, you can benefit greatly by obtaining the assistance of a family law attorney. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C. today to schedule a free initial consultation.