A contentious divorce can become even more contentious and contentious when domestic abuse is a factor in the divorce proceedings. If you are a victim of domestic violence who is seeking to get a divorce and you are aware of the extent to which your husband is capable of causing you harm, you need to take precautions to protect yourself. If your spouse has a history of violence, you need to be especially careful.
In the event that efforts to mediate a dispute outside of court are unsuccessful, you may consult with a Columbus divorce attorney about the various legal options.
The following are some practical and safe methods that can be used to petition for divorce after experiencing domestic violence:
- Get yourself some protection and a place to hide. If you are afraid for your safety and well-being when you break the news that you want a divorce, stay in a place that is safe and don’t tell your spouse where you are going. If you are afraid for your safety and well-being when you break the news that you want a divorce, you need to tell your spouse that you want a divorce.
- Obtain a court order to protect yourself. In the state of Ohio, individuals who have been the victims of domestic abuse have the option of petitioning the court for relief on their own behalf or having a parent or other adult household member do so on their behalf. The petition for relief needs to include a description of the type and scope of the victim’s experience with domestic violence, as well as the relationship between the victim and the offender. If you are in urgent danger and require protection, you have the right to petition the Ohio courts for what is known as an “ex parte” hearing. This type of hearing does not call for the perpetrator to be present, and it will take place on the same day that the paperwork is submitted.
- Get a lawyer. Domestic violence victims often lack the financial resources to afford an attorney because their abuser controls the household finances. This is because their abuser has complete control over the finances of the household. There are many divorce attorneys who are willing to assist these people by representing them at no cost (also known as “pro bono”) or at a significantly reduced rate.