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Divorces and protective orders: What you need to know

In the best of circumstances, even an amicable divorce is stressful and emotional. If the situation is compounded by the fact that there has been some form of domestic abuse or threats of violence, things can get ugly, quickly. If you about to leave an abusive or threatening spouse, an attorney can help protect you and any children you might have. Statistically, the weeks and months after leaving an abuser are some of the most dangerous for the person leaving. As such, it may make sense, depending on your situation, to seek legal protection from any future attempts at violence by seeking out a protective order.

Domestic abuse takes many forms

The most well-known form of domestic abuse is physical abuse, which includes physical assaults and battery, threats, and often real damage and pain to the victim. Unfortunately, there can also be sexual abuse with a marriage, including but not limited to marital rape when one party does not consent to a sexual encounter. There is emotional abuse, where one partner is emotionally bullied and controlled. Often there is overlap between these three categories, and each form of abuse can be damaging in its own way.

Though many imagine that these forms of abuse (especially physical abuse and sexual abuse) are typically perpetrated by male partners abusing their female partners, it's important to remember that abuse of a male partner by a female partner can occur, as can violence between same-sex marital partners. No matter your gender or sexual orientation, you deserve to be represented properly during divorce proceedings to ensure that you retain your rights, your assets, and protect any marital children. Working with an experienced attorney is an important means of protecting yourself when you leave an abusive marriage.

How an attorney helps with protective orders

All too often, those going to the court to request protective orders are met with skepticism not turned on other victims of crime. However, having a protection order in place offers peace of mind and legal recourse if your soon-to-be ex partner attempts to contact, threaten, or harm you. Having a skilled attorney representing you, and helping to make the case of why a protective order is critical to your safety and well-being, can be the difference between having your request granted or denied by a judge.

An attorney can help ensure that you adequately and properly demonstrate that you qualify for a protective order. This can be hard to do on your own, as the courts require a certain degree of proof to establish the need for a protective order. Additionally, an attorney will be able to advocate for you and offer legal advice in the instance that a protective order is granted but then violated by the other party.

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