In recent weeks, there are been several news reports of extreme behavior directly related to divorce proceedings. Many people, especially women, are afraid to even tell their spouse that they want a divorce. Usually the fear stems from past experiences with anger or violence from the spouse, or simply from watching such events unfold on television. However, there are ways to approach the situation to ensure safety.
Many communities have Women’s Shelters that offer both emergency shelter and on-going support groups for women in dangerous situations. These organizations can offer support and guidance before, during and after the divorce process. They can help you develop a plan for informing your spouse about the divorce, and an emergency plan to help keep you safe in the event the situation becomes violent. The local shelter in Paulding County, Georgia is Shepherd’s Rest.
Broach the Subject Cautiously
When informing your spouse that you want a divorce, be sure to think about your words in advance, and try to tell him as gently as possibly, instead of just blurting it out. Is it better to do it in a semi-public location, so you won’t be alone and isolated? Can someone be with you to help diffuse the situation if it starts to get out of hand? Also, be respectful of your spouse, ask for their time to have the discussion, and give them some time to respond and have their say when you are done (as long as they stay calm and respectful towards you). Be sensitive to the fact that, although you may have been contemplating this for a while, this may come as a shock to your spouse.
Seek Help From the Courts
The Courts can help offer protection from an abusive spouse, in the form of restraining orders. These can be in the form of a Family Violence Protective Order, a Stalking Protective Order, or simply a temporary or permanent order in the divorce case. Whether you have retained an attorney or are representing yourself in court, be sure to utilize the protections provided by the Courts. Also, don’t be afraid to call the police if you feel you are in danger.
The most important consideration is to keep yourself safe both during the conversation and throughout the divorce process.