Will I lose everything because I had to leave for protection?
Running from a husband who is abusive is not an easy first step to take. It means that the wife has to handle not only the collapse of her marriage, but also the serious danger that her husband may react violently to the admission that she is leaving him. The first issue at stake here is the physical safety of the woman.
She should not be concerned about what she will potentially lose because she flees for the sake of her life. If there is a likelihood of physical violence as she is leaving, then she ought to first contact the local domestic violence shelter before alerting the husband of her intentions to leave. They will offer more than simply counseling and advice; they can also provide shelter, escorts, and financial or legal resources to help handle the dangerous situation.
If the woman feels like she is in great and urgent danger, the best step is to call emergency services at 911. The local shelter or alternatively police office will provide her with an escort for physical safety reasons when she is moving out of the home. It is also possible to go to the local family court and petition for a restraining order or alternatively an order of protection. Filing for spousal support, custody of the children and child support are less urgent steps at this point.
Women Have Every Right to a Divorce Regardless of What An Abusive Husband Tells Them
The legal reality is that a woman possesses every right to request and receive a divorce. This is especially the case when physical violence is in play in the marriage. The courts are aware that many women can not adequately support themselves alone if they have to get away from a monstrous husband quickly.
Because of this, the courts created immediate orders like temporary spouse support, temporary child support, temporary child custody orders, and also temporary restraining orders and orders of protection for those women who fear for their physical lives. The good news is that the courts understand and can effectively address all of these issues. The one area which they can not help a woman with is the courage to take the first step and to deal with the emotional pain and needs the action creates.
What If The Wife’s Name Is Not on the Mortgage or Lease?
The situation becomes dicier for a woman who does not have her name on either the family home mortgage or the apartment lease. If her name is not even on bank accounts or credit cars, she can be in serious trouble financially. Many woman in this scenario also have multiple children to take care of as well. Hopefully she has friends and family to whom she can turn for urgent financial assistance in this time of great trouble.
In sad cases like these where the husband has been overly possessive and completely manipulative throughout the marriage, it is critical for the woman to get some quick help and urgently needed support. When she and the kids are in imminent physical danger and need to leave but have no resources or other place to flee to, the area domestic violence shelter will quickly help. They possess the necessary skills and training (and resources) to allow a woman in danger to gain control over her personal situation so that she can come to stay with them and be both safe and secure. These are the most pressing needs upfront.
Once this is done, the woman can plan her next moves, which ought to include a visit to the local family court to apply for child support and/or spouse support. It is crucial to get an order of custody issued so that there are no disputes on who is keeping the kids initially. Obtaining such temporary orders does not require the expense and services of an attorney, only transportation to the family court.
Domestic violence shelters can provide this service if physical abuse is involved in the marriage. Otherwise a woman needs to turn to her family and friends for a physical ride and financial support. When a woman feels her life is threatened if her husband catches her leaving, she needs to immediately contact the local police for urgent help.
What About Gaining Occupancy of the Home While The Divorce Is In the Works?
Courts understand the often-precarious situation that women are in as a divorce is being filed and is still pending. They often will allow for the woman to obtain an attorney and file for exclusive residency in the house until the divorce orders are issued at the end. They also encourage abused women to obtain a restraining order that may require the abusive man to actually leave.
As far as returning home to obtain her personal things, a woman can have help to do this safely. The police will guarantee safe escort to the home or arrange a time when he must not be present (by order of the courts) so that she can safely return for her things. Alternatively a woman should seek out and bring along a strong male relative or friend to help guarantee her safety. Restraining orders are always a good idea in these tense and uncomfortable (not to mention physically intimidating) situations.
Will the woman get anything if she abandons the house before the divorce is filed and finalized?
If a domineering husband tells a fleeing wife that by leaving him without a divorce she will not get any assets (like the home), then he is not simply making this up unfortunately. The courts will ultimately have all final say in who gets what from the marriage. A woman will nearly always leave with a fair share of any and all assets. This does not mean that it will amount to exactly half though.
It should be noted though that some states do take the man’s position regarding abandoning the residence seriously. Leaving the home can impact the rights to the house in the future as the courts will usually consider such an action abandonment of the home. In cases where a documented domestic violence case exists, abandoning the home would not be a relevant factor though.
In the end, each state has its own relevant statutes for how the marital assets must be distributed in the conclusion of the divorce. Some states fall back on equitable distribution regardless of who is responsible for the failure of the marriage. This fair distribution does not guarantee it will be equal though; the courts will exclusively decide who gets what. Moving out of a home without documented physical abuse does threaten the rights to the residence after a divorce. This is why women need to discuss such an action with an attorney before they actually physically do it.