Divorcing an Abusive or Violent Spouse
Many victims of domestic violence and abuse fear that, should they file for divorce, they may only antagonize their abuser, and risk the safety of themselves and potentially their children. The good news is that New Jersey domestic violence laws provide many protections for victims of abuse, and there are a great deal of different resources available to parties seeking to separate themselves from abusive relationships.
Domestic Violence Ocean County Attorney
Domestic Violence can not only be physical abuse, but emotional and financial as well. The 1990 Prevention of Domestic Violence Act states that the following actions are considered to be a form of domestic violence:
- Terroristic Threats
- Criminal Restraint
- False Imprisonment
- Sexual Assault
- Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Trespass
It is important to remember that domestic violence can occur not only between spouses, but between former boyfriends or girlfriends, same-sex relationships, and members of your household. Domestic violence is a criminal offense, and New Jersey courts take extreme measures to protect victims who seek relief from future acts of abuse, and punish the perpetrators of domestic violence. If you are suffering from an abusive relationship, it is highly recommended that you contact an Ocean County domestic violence attorney to help you take the necessary legal steps to protecting your physical, emotional, and financial future and safety.
Divorcing an Abusive or Violent Spouse Safely in New Jersey
Victims of domestic violence often fear that by filing for a divorce, they risk antagonizing their abuser. While this may be true, there are a number of steps an abuse victim can take to protect both themselves and their children, and safely divorce in New Jersey.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence recommends that if you have time to plan ahead for your divorce, you take the following measures:
- Make a list of people you can contact for support and assistance
- Memorize phone numbers of people and organizations you can call in case of an emergency
- Establish a code word with your support network which will alert them of your need for assistance without alerting your abuser
Beyond taking these steps for protecting your safety, it is also prudent to plan for your divorce by gathering important documents and information such as:
- Birth certificates and social security cards
- Copies of leases, insurance policies, and deeds to assets
- Income documents like pay stubs and W-2’s
- Bank and Credit Card statements
In addition, you should gather any evidence you have of abuse such as photos, police records, and medical reports. Now that you have a safety network in place, and the necessary financial information to proceed with a divorce, you are ready to contact your Ocean County divorce attorney and begin the divorce process.
You should discuss the possibility of filing for a fault-based divorce with your attorney. While fault grounds do not impact your New Jersey divorce’s asset division agreement, proof of fault will most likely help you secure a much more favorable alimony settlement.
Restraining Order Attorneys Ocean County, NJ
The final, and possibly most effective protection a domestic violence victim has against their abuser is a restraining order. Temporary restraining orders are granted by simply alleging abuse, you and your Ocean County restraining order attorney will not have to provide evidence of abuse and domestic violence until the final restraining order hearing. This can allow you to obtain immediate and guaranteed relief from abuse without a time-consuming legal process.
When the victim of domestic violence files for divorce, it is highly recommended that you obtain a restraining order against the abuser. Restraining orders can vary greatly in the protections and limitations they provide, so it is important that you are honest with your Ocean County restraining order attorney as well as the judge in order to obtain the exact protections necessary in your case.
Contact an Ocean County Domestic Violence and Divorce Attorney Today
At Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping clients across Point Pleasant, Toms River, Jackson, Howell, Brick, and the greater Ocean County area to safely and successfully obtain restraining orders against perpetrators of domestic violence, and finalize a favorable fault-based divorce settlement.
Our smaller size allows us to develop personal and attentive relationships with our clients while charging fair and reasonable rates for our services. By listening closely to your exact needs and concerns in any legal dispute, we believe we can provide the most effective and compassionate legal service possible.
To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding issues of domestic violence, obtaining a restraining order, or safely divorcing an abusive spouse, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at 732-812-3102.