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When to Leave an Abusive Marriage: Advice From a Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer
Leaving an abusive marriage is incredibly difficult, and you might be unsure as to whether it is the right time. Often, people just need the right support in order to make those first steps and begin building a new life.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we are committed to helping people experiencing abuse leave their marriages to begin a new, better life free from torment and abuse. We understand how to work with a difficult spouse and will put boundaries in place so that they are not able to control the situation.
We are experienced litigators and will advocate in front of a Judge on your behalf whenever necessary. However, we use a collaborative law process to minimize conflict wherever possible.
We can also help you file a protection order to keep an abusive spouse away from you and your children. This may give you the space you need to make decisions on your next steps.
If you believe you could be in immediate danger, then you should call 9-1-1. For confidential and professional help, you can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224); you can also speak to them through a live private chat on their website.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC we are committed to helping people who have suffered abuse and look forward to a brighter future. We will take the time to understand your goals and will help you navigate your divorce in ways that prioritize your needs.
Arrange a consultation with a divorce attorney Fort Worth residents trust today at 817-369-3970.
Types of Abuse
Before we discuss when to leave an abusive marriage, it could be helpful to understand the different types of abuse. Abuse isn’t always physical; it can come in many different shapes and forms. Here are the most common types of domestic abuse:
- Emotional Abuse – Emotional abuse involves attempts to manipulate, frighten, control, or isolate you. It involves repeated behaviors such as name-calling, dismissiveness, public embarrassment, yelling, putting you down, and more.
- Physical Abuse – Physical abuse is when someone harms you on purpose. A physically abusive spouse should be taken seriously. We can help you file a protective order to keep your spouse away from you and your children.
- Financial Abuse – Financial abuse occurs when your spouse has control over your finances which diminishes your ability to support yourself and forces you to depend on your partner.
- Sexual Abuse – Sexual abuse is any sexual behavior to which you have not consented regardless of marital status.
- Neglect – Neglect is when your spouse consistently fails to notice, attend to, and respond to how you are feeling emotionally, or physically.
Signs That You Are Ready to Leave an Abusive Marriage
Leaving an abusive marriage is one of the most difficult things that a person has to do. You may feel uncertain about your future and how you will manage on your own.
Fortunately, the divorce lawyers at Youngblood Law, PLLC are experienced in helping people as they move forward. We will help ensure that your future is secure and that you have what you need to transition to a better life.
If you are not quite sure whether you are ready, here are some small signs that you are ready to finally reach out for help.
You’re Sick of Making Excuses For Your Partner
Many people in abusive relationships take a while to realize that they have been a victim of abuse. You may have made countless excuses for your partner’s behaviors, both to yourself and to friends and family. You may also have been made to believe that this is what you deserve.
However, at some point, you may have become tired of making excuses and are beginning to realize the truth of the situation. No matter what your spouse has been through, it does not justify treating you badly – especially if they are unwilling to work on themselves or make positive changes.
You Try to Initiate a Breakup
It is incredibly difficult to leave an abusive spouse. Therefore, you may feel the need to do something to trigger an argument in order to bring about the end of your relationship.
If you feel this way, then you should reach out for help. If you do try to trigger the end of the relationship, it could cause your abuser to act in unpredictable or dangerous ways. The best way to take control of the situation is to reach out to a Fort Worth divorce lawyer who can help. Keep in mind that efforts to break up with and leave an abuser are often seen as an act of aggression to the abuser! We have experience helping advise people how to make a safe and resolute exit.
You’re Not Taking Care of Yourself
It is common for people in abusive relationships to stop taking care of themselves. You might be neglecting self-care routines, not taking pride in your appearance, and comfort eating.
We recommend that anyone who has suffered abuse seeks counseling or coaching. This can help you realize your self-worth again. When you do, it will become a little easier to leave your spouse.
You Spend Less Time With Your Spouse
When you’re in an abusive relationship, you might spend very little time with friends and family. Instead, all of your spare time might be spent with your abuser. Over time, being around them may become more and more difficult, and you might be looking for ways to get away, such as working more and reconnecting with friends. This is when you may notice that your abuser has isolated you from your friends and family, making reconnecting and asking for help difficult.
If you are considering leaving an abusive spouse, then it is good to confide in people. Speaking to a friend or family member can help you make the decision and find the strength to walk away.
You Don’t Consider Them in Future Plans
Even before you have consciously made the decision to leave your spouse, you might have stopped considering them in your future plans. For example, perhaps you have stopped trying for children or considering your retirement together. Perhaps you have started buying things that you imagine yourself putting into your own home, or you have started making your personal savings a priority.
Pay attention to your hopes for the future; if your spouse is not part of it, then it could be a sign that you are ready to leave.
You Stop Pretending
For a long time, you probably defended your partner to friends and family, avoiding telling them things or even lying to them. You may have also felt embarrassed to admit that your partner has been treating you badly.
However, now you may have started to reach out to friends and family, and hopefully, you are receiving support from them. Now that you are thinking about reaching out to a Fort Worth divorce lawyer for support, you may be ready to start facing the truth and leaving your partner.
Your Spending More Time With Friends
Your partner may have found ways to isolate you. For example, perhaps they are jealous and try to prevent you from spending time with certain people.
If you find that you are now spending time with friends of the gender you are interested in, it could be a sign that you are ready to leave your abusive partner. This could be platonic, or you may have started to have romantic feelings for other people; that could be your gut telling you that you deserve better.
You Realize The Stress of Divorce Is Worth it
The thought of divorce is a scary prospect. It can be incredibly difficult to separate your life from someone who you have been with for a long time. When you are dealing with an abusive spouse, things get even more stressful as you may expect them to behave badly and try to control the process.
However, at some point, you may come to realize that the stress of divorce is worth it so that you can begin to build a brighter future. When you have the help of an experienced Fort Worth divorce lawyer, they will make it easier and will help ensure that your rights are protected so that you can move forward feeling secure and confident.
What a Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer Can Do For You
If you are considering divorcing an abusive spouse, then it is essential you have the support and guidance from a divorce attorney who has experience in these types of cases and understands how to best handle your case.
An abusive spouse may try to manipulate the situation to get what they want, and you need an attorney who knows how to set boundaries so that they can’t do that. That is exactly what you will find at Youngblood Law, PLLC. We have helped numerous clients leave abusive and unhappy marriages, and we want to do the same for you.
Your divorce attorney should also be supportive and willing to lend a sympathetic ear when you need it. Although a good attorney may have a full caseload, it will be manageable, and they will be dedicated to your case. When you secure representation from us, your divorce lawyer will keep you informed throughout the process and will be personally available by phone or email.
We take a personalized approach; we will take the time to understand your goals so that we can best meet your needs. While some attorneys are quick to take an aggressive approach, we utilize the collaborative law process to minimize conflict where possible, making your divorce move along faster and with less stress.
Utilizing our in-depth knowledge of the law, an understanding of your local family court system, and a dedication to your needs, we will do everything we can to support you.
Domestic abuse comes in many forms, and it doesn’t always come directly from your spouse; other family members or people you live with may also be abusive. At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we understand the complexity of these cases and will help you take the next steps forward.
One of the first steps could be to help you file a protective order. You can obtain a protective order if:
- The abuser is stalking you.
- Someone has been physically violent towards you.
- The abuser is likely to hurt you again.
- If you are or were in a romantic relationship with an abuser.
- Someone has threatened physical violence.
What Does A Protective Order Do?
A protective order is very flexible, and a Judge can use their discretion when setting guidelines. We will review your case and determine what type of protection is appropriate.
As well as restricting communication and contact with you, it could also keep the abuser away from your children. The order could also include orders such as the abuser going to counseling and not being allowed to own firearms. The Judge could also use the protection order as a way to address child custody, child support, and even temporary property division.
A protective order is different from a restraining order. A restraining order prevents parties from behaving in certain ways, such as emptying bank accounts. If someone breaks a restraining order, it is up to the court to intervene. On the other hand, a protective order is much more flexible and can be enforced by law enforcement. Therefore, if your abuser violates their order, you can call the police to protect you.
Your Fort Worth divorce attorney from Youngblood Law, PLLC, will help you explain your claims to the Judge so that the Judge understands your experiences and takes them into consideration when making their decisions.
Child Custody Issues
Child custody issues are some of the most challenging, especially when you are dealing with an abusive spouse. It is essential that you have the support and guidance of a divorce attorney who can help ensure that your child’s needs are prioritized at every stage.
Texas law generally assumes that it is in every child’s best interests for both parents to remain in their life unless one parent poses a risk to them. Just because your spouse was a bad partner, it doesn’t always make them a bad parent.
However, if your spouse does pose a danger to your children, then we will help you file a protection order and will ensure the Judge is made aware of your experiences. If appropriate, we will help you file for sole legal custody, and if your spouse does secure visitation, then we will strive to ensure that it is supervised. The safety of your children is crucial, and we work to ensure their safety.
On the other hand, if a joint custody arrangement is appropriate in your case, then we will help you determine what that looks like. Often one parent is the custodial parent who the child lives with for the majority of the time, while the other is granted visitation rights. If it is in your child’s best interests for you to be the custodial parent, we will help ensure that the right decision is made.
Spousal support is sometimes necessary after a marriage has ended so that one spouse can maintain a standard of living. In an abusive relationship, you may have sacrificed your own goals and dreams, so spousal support may help you to look forward to a better future.
Often spousal support payments are temporary, but they will give you enough time to undergo education or find work. If your case justifies a spousal support arrangement, it will help ensure that a fair decision is made.
If the child custody arrangement involves you as the primary caregiver, then your spouse may be required to pay you child support. This can help ensure that you can meet all of your child’s needs, such as shelter, food, toys, and more. In Texas, parents are also required to provide medical insurance if it is available at a reasonable cost.
Upon divorce, you and your spouse will need to separate all of your assets and debts. Texas is a community property state which means that all assets acquired by either party while you were married are subject to just and fair division.
Our divorce attorney will help you determine what a fair division of property looks like in your case, which isn’t always a 50/50 split. For example, perhaps your spouse is solely responsible for the debt and should therefore be responsible for it after divorce. Another example could be if you are the primary caregiver for your children, then perhaps it is justified for you to keep the marital home.
Tips For Divorcing an Abusive Spouse
Divorcing an abusive spouse is incredibly difficult. The best thing you can do is seek the support of an experienced divorce lawyer who can guide you through the process and who will ensure that your goals are prioritized and your rights are protected.
There are also things you can do to help protect your well-being. Maintaining boundaries is key, and you may want to work with a coach or counselor to help you do that.
We will help you decide what is important to you so that you can prioritize your goals. For example, perhaps custody is the most important thing to you, and this is an issue you will fight for in negotiations.
When leaving an abusive spouse, here are some tips:
- Maintain Boundaries – It is important to remember that you have no obligation to defend yourself or stay in an argument. You can turn off your cell phone or walk away from a situation. Remember, you are not responsible for their emotions or behavior, and you cannot control them, but you can control how you react. Choose to refuse to engage in needless conflict or arguments.
- Prioritize Self-Care – Divorcing an abusive spouse is incredibly stressful, and so it is important you prioritize self-care. This could involve making time for relaxing and enjoyable activities or confiding in friends and family, as well as a coach or therapist.
- Recognize Your Spouse’s Behaviors – An abusive spouse may use manipulative tactics to get the conversation to go their way. Watch out for these attempts to manipulate you and either point their behavior out to them, or walk away from the situation.
Contact a Divorce Attorney Fort Worth Trusts
Your abuser may notice that you are regaining your strength and separating from them. This may cause them to act in unpredictable ways, and their abusive behavior could increase. It is, therefore, essential that you have the proper support and guidance.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we have helped numerous people leave unhappy and abusive marriages. We have the experience and understanding necessary to advocate for your goals and help you to look forward to a bright future.
No matter how complex your case might seem, we want to help. We offer compassionate and dedicated support so that you can regain your confidence.
Speak to a divorce attorney Fort Worth residents trust today at 817-369-3970.