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3 ways domestic violence impacts women in divorce

Domestic violence is a horrible act to live with, and for many families, it is what results in a request for divorce. Domestic violence is a public health problem, with a woman suffering an assault of beating once every nine seconds in the United States. While it's not only women who suffer from abusive partners, they are sometimes more severely impacted by the violence and abuse they've faced.

1. It's harder to leave

Many women find it's harder to leave a partner who has been abusive, because that person may have all the financial control in a relationship. For example, a husband may have pestered his wife so much at work that she had to leave the job, or he might have limited her income so much that she has no savings to use to get out of the situation.

Some financially abusive spouses also place assets in their names, so the victim has nothing of value. Additionally, many abusive parties ruin the other person's credit, making it near impossible for the person to have sufficient credit to get an apartment or receive financial help to escape. In a divorce, a judge may consider the financial abuse along with any physical abuse and award the woman property and assets as he or she sees fit.

2. With children, there are higher stakes

Women in violent situations may not want to leave because they fear the injuries or impact that speaking out against an aggressor could have on their children. Threatening to take away the abuser's children could put them at risk, so many women do nothing rather than rock the boat.

Fortunately, personal protective orders and other options are available to help individuals in these situations flee and stay safe from their abusers. Once a divorce is filed, using police reports and showing the PPO can help you seek full custody of your children to protect them from an abusive parent.

3. Abusive partners can make divorces drag out

While an abusive partner might refuse to sign paperwork or agree to a divorce, you have the right to be safe and in a healthy relationship. You can file for divorce, and your attorney can help you protect yourself from the backlash from an angry spouse. With the right personal protective orders and support of the legal system, you can move forward with the case and seek the divorce you need.

If you file criminal charges against your spouse, that case runs separately but may impact the judge's award during your divorce. Your attorney can help you understand everything that will happen, so you can prepare yourself to move on from this difficult situation.

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