Divorcing an Abusive Partner

Divorce is never easy, but if you are divorcing an abusive partner, you can expect the process to be significantly more difficult. Many people are ashamed to admit that their spouse is abusive, so they are hesitant to speak about the abuse with anyone. Further, abuse can come in many forms. While identifying physical abuse is quite straightforward, identifying emotional, mental, and or verbal abuse – or general bullying – can be much more complicated. Fortunately, the State of Texas (like other states) has adopted laws to help protect victims of abuse throughout the divorce process. If you are divorcing an abusive partner, you need an experienced Fort Worth divorce attorney who you can trust.

Filing for Divorce

The most important issue when filing for divorce from an abusive partner is ensuring that you and your children are safe. Once you are in a position in which you feel it’s safe to proceed, you can file your Original Petition for Divorce on no-fault grounds or on the specific grounds of cruelty. While the burden of proof to prove cruelty is on you, evidence of physical abuse is usually quite accessible, including:

  • Police reports

  • Medical records

  • Photographic evidence

  • Eyewitness testimony

Proving different types of emotional abuse and/or bullying can be more difficult, but a skilled Fort Worth divorce attorney will work closely with you to help ensure that you make your case against your abusive partner.

Notifying Your Spouse

Once you have filed for divorce, it’s time to notify your abusive spouse. The stress of being served divorce papers is difficult for anyone, but it can be a significant trigger for an abuser. From this point on, your attorney can negotiate with your spouse’s attorney on your behalf. It is important to severely limit your exposure to an abusive spouse during the divorce process, and the safest and best path forward is through your skilled divorce attorney.

Protective Orders

Filing for divorce may lead your abusive spouse to become angry and lash out at you or your children. You might also feel the threat of harm even after you leave your spouse. As such, the courts have protective measures in place to help. For example, a judge can issue a Temporary Restraining Order that lasts for 14 to 28 days. This allows a cooling-off period in which your spouse is not allowed to contact you and in which your respective attorneys can attempt to negotiate temporary terms or to orchestrate a contested hearing in which the judge will award a longer-lasting restraining order.

If You Are Divorcing an Abusive Spouse, You Need an Experienced Fort Worth Divorce Attorney on Your Side

Nothing about divorce is easy, but divorcing an abusive spouse is often more challenging and even frightening. The experienced legal team at The Law Office of J. Kevin Clark in Fort Worth is committed to protecting you and your children’s safety while tirelessly advocating for divorce terms that work for you. Your safety and your future matter, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (817) 241-3328 for more information today.

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