ST. LOUIS, Missouri. Many individuals who have been abused or who have suffered violence at the hands of their spouse may face unique challenges when seeking a divorce. For the abused, poverty, immigration status, and even being a woman can create unique hurdles when divorcing an abusive partner.
For example, according to the New York Times, laws that require a partner to serve divorce papers to an ex can be particularly onerous, especially if an ex just disappears. It can be expensive and difficult to find a spouse who does not want to be found, or who is in hiding. Women who do seek divorces against abusive ex-husbands may also not always be able to afford attorney fees. Divorces in abusive marriages can sometimes be particularly contentious, because the partner being left might use finances or the children to get revenge on his or her spouse.
It can be crucial for victims of domestic violence to divorce their abusers. As long as victims are married to their abusers, these abusers can use money to damage their partner’s reputations, credit history, and financial lives. Divorce can also be an important milestone for a person who has been abused. It means freedom, the ability to start over.
However, divorce can be complicated, especially when restraining orders and domestic violence is involved. If women want to protect their children, they’ll also need to prove to the court why they believe they should have sole custody of their children. If they want to limit their ex’s contact, they’ll have to make a case to family court judges who are increasingly skeptical of denying a parents’ right to freely see a child.
There are also many ways abusive ex’s can drag out the divorce process. They can make the divorce contentious in the hope of securing financial wins or child custody victories, or they can disappear, making it harder for victims to file for divorce.
However, there are solutions. According to one divorce lawyer writing for the New York Times, abused women can even sometimes use mediation to reach a settlement with their ex that works for both parties. Sometimes mediation allows both parties to receive a kind of counseling opportunity they never had during their marriage. While mediation won’t reform or change an abuser, mediation can help victims come to terms with the methods the abuser used to gain control. With the guidance of a mediator, victims can see their abuser’s strategies revealed, leading to important insights and even healing.
If you are struggling to end an abusive marriage, you are not alone. The Behrens Law Firm, L.L.C. are divorce lawyers in St. Louis, Missouri who help victims seek liberation and a fair divorce settlement. Our firm is here for you. Visit us at https://ffa.963.myftpupload.com/ to learn more about your options and rights. Divorce court can sometimes be complex and filing for divorce can seem daunting, but with the help of a qualified lawyer, you can do it.
Behrens Law Firm, L.L.C.
75 West Lockwood Avenue
Webster Groves, MO 63119