It has been a rough couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have gone from highly sociable and out-going to an introverted and germophobic society. This isolated environment that we have exposed ourselves to remain safe during these trying times has created many toxic environments for some.
When a spouse is abusive and a bully, they will bring a lot of drama, negative emotions, and in some cases, physical trauma. It important to recognize this and address it as soon as possible. As we approach the divorce season, our attorneys at Burton Family Law have compiled a list of ways you can break the news and remain safe throughout your divorce proceedings.
Let your attorney take the lead
Let your lawyer do most of the talking for you if you cannot negotiate issues with your abusive soon-to-be-ex calmly. Write down a list of goals with your attorney and focus on achieving those goals along with your attorney as you deal with emotional, physical, and monetary uncertainty.
Avoid Confrontation and Interactions
In a toxic divorce, we recommend living separately while going through with the divorce. The less you are around each other, the less you can be provoked by your abusive ex. You don’t want them to instigate and play mind games to get a better edge in the divorce. If you need to exchange kids or ask for child support, rely on the help of any family or friends.
If you were in a physically abusive relationship or feel unsafe, we recommend filing for an order of protection by the court. This will provide you with the safe space you need to focus on the impact of this divorce. Remember to discuss this with your attorney before you go recklessly filing for something that can damage your position on your proceedings.
Do Not Bark Back
You never need to defend yourself verbally to your ex-spouse. In many cases, it is easier said than done. However, the reality of the situation is that once the divorce has been filed, no amount of verbal arguments will help reach the ultimate goal of ending the marriage. If you feel offended, just simply walk away. Recompose yourself, talk to your attorney, take a break, or do anything that will keep you from ruining your position.
Don’t sign on bad terms just because you want it all to end. Do not give up rights or take a hit on your goals just because you do not want to fight for it. The end goal should be to transition to a better and healthier life.
Ex-Spouse Legal Advice
Never, we repeat, NEVER take legal advice from your ex-spouse. Abusive spouses will try to manipulate you to stand better and satisfy their agenda. It is common for abusive spouses to threaten the other with things such as; “I know the law and I’m going to make it so you never see the kids again.” The family law experts at Burton Law recommend taking a step back and reconvening with your attorney; they know the best course of action for your case.
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