When you have been in an abusive marriage for a prolonged period of time, it can feel like a major relief when you finally are able to get out of the situation and begin considering going through divorce proceedings. However, if you and your (almost) ex-spouse also have children together, you may find your relief and sense of near-freedom stifled by your worries about the safety and well-being of your children. Get to know some of the steps that you can take to be sure that your children are safe and that you legally obtain full or primary custody of your children in the divorce so that you can be sure that you do not place your children in unnecessary danger.
Get A Protection Order For Yourself And Possibly Your Children
One of the first steps that you should take when you leave your abusive partner is to try to get a protection order against them. If your spouse only abused you, this protection order will be for you alone.
If a judge accepts your petition for a protection order, this will mean that your former spouse will be unable to contact you directly. This means they cannot come to talk to you in person, be within a certain physical distance of you, your home, or your vehicle, and cannot call or send other communications like texts or emails to you. All communication would need to go through the courts and/or your attorney.
On the other hand, if your spouse abused your children, you can also petition for protection orders for them as well. This will likely require additional steps and may or may not get approved depending on evidence or proof of child abuse.
Petition The Court For Full Temporary Custody
Because you and your spouse are still legally married, you cannot keep them away from their other parent without just cause and the approval of the court. So, you will need to hire a custody lawyer to help you petition the court for full custody temporarily.
What this means is that for the time being (most likely until the divorce is finalized), you would have sole custody of your children. They would not see or spend time with your former spouse. The court will likely grant such petitions if you can provide evidence of violence and abuse in the home, particularly violence toward your children.
Now that you know a few of the steps that you can take to be sure that you do not accidentally do something wrong when it comes to the custody and care of your children. If you take the proper steps and hire a good custody and divorce lawyer to assist you, you will be sure that you and your children are safe from your abusive spouse once and for all.
For a custody lawyer, contact a lawyer such as Timothy L Hitchings.