Divorce, no matter what the circumstances, does not happen overnight, it is a difficult decision for the one initiating the divorce and even worse, when you still love your spouse IN SPITE OF the domestic violence taking place. Divorce is also a huge adjustment for the children irrespective of their age.
Initiating divorce as a result of Domestic Violence is so much more difficult because the court relies heavily on the “injured party” to prove that there was, in fact, Domestic Violence and that the marriage has irretrievably broken down as life with the abuser has become intolerable.
Do you know how to build your own Domestic Violence case without the help of a lawyer?
Would you like to know how to do this yourself?
REMEMBER: YOUR SAFETY COMES FIRST . . . ALWAYS!!
Always remember: when collecting evidence against your spouse to build your case, NEVER tell your spouse . . .
1) That you are planning to divorce him or her
2) Never let him or her catch you in the act of collecting evidence against him or her. Make sure the neighbours don’t know what’s going on – you never know who will think they are being a good neighbour by telling your spouse what your plans are.
3) Never tell your children anything that could put your life or their lives in danger if they shared what they know with your spouse. Remember: children will always want to “help” the other spouse because children will go to the ends of the earth to keep their parents together. You have to include your children in your decision but only tell them what they need to know. They don’t need to know your every move. They don’t need to know you are collecting evidence against your spouse. Trust me . . . they will tell the other spouse what you are doing.
4) Safety Plan (in writing): Always make sure you have a Safety Plan in place. This must be written down – under no circumstances must your spouse know about this document nor must your spouse ever see this document. It must be in writing and you must give a copy to at least two people you trust so that if anything should happen to you and your children and you need to move out of the house immediately, you will know where to go and everybody will know what they need to do in order to keep you and your children safe .
I have a template you could use – please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org to request a blank template.
5) Do not take any risks! Your safety and that of your children is of utmost importance at all times. Never do anything that would compromise the safety of you or your children.
Useful Resources for you:
How to build your own Domestic Violence case without a lawyer – Find it here
Guidelines for parents undergoing separation or divorce can be found here: Zur, O. (2012). For The Sake Of Our Children: Guidelines For Parents Undergoing Separation or Divorce. Retrieved May/16/2015 from http://www.zurinstitute.com/sakeofchildren.html