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Divorcing a violent or dangerous person

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2023 | Divorce

Ending a marriage is difficult at the best of times. In situations where abuse and violence are involved, it is much harder, especially if the person filing for divorce is the person who has been abused.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence can occur in many ways beyond what people usually think. It can be:

  1. Physical
  2. Emotional
  3. Financial

Maryland law generally defines domestic violence as when someone with whom you share a “specific relationship” commits one or multiple specific crimes against you. These crimes include:

  1. Assault
  2. Something that puts you in immediate fear of immediate serious physical harm
  3. Rape or attempted rape
  4. Sexual offense or attempted sexual offense
  5. Stalking
  6. False imprisonment
  7. Revenge porn

Divorcing an abusive partner is extremely difficult and frightening. Your safety and the safety of your children are your #1 priority and should always come first. In these cases, it is reasonable to assume that your partner will not react well to the news that you want out of the marriage.

It is critical to have a plan for you and your children that includes a place to stay for some time. Additionally, it is also imperative to act quickly to protect yourself. In certain circumstances, you can file a restraining order.

If you can, take as much evidence of the abuse with you as possible. It may be helpful when you ask for a restraining order and, even later, during the divorce.

One in three women in the United States has experienced physical violence by an intimate partner. Many think it is their fault because the abuser has manipulated them into believing it is. It is not your fault and the law states that very clearly.