Going through a divorce can be a tense and anxiety-inducing experience. Even when a marriage ends amicably, the dissolution still tends to take a toll on separating spouses. It’s no surprise that a divorce due to abuse is a process typically fraught with a number of stressful and worrisome challenges.
If you are contemplating or preparing for divorce with an abusive spouse, it’s vital to contact an attorney with experience in these types of cases. They will file for a temporary restraining order (TRO) with the original petition for divorce. These orders are renewable every 14 days, until a longer-term measure is approved by the court.
If you have been abused or feel that you’re in danger, your attorney will follow up with a protective order enforceable by civil and criminal contempt. A final protective order stays in effect for two years. Your attorney will work with you to put a stop to the abuse and help get you your life back.
Don’t Wait to Leave and Abuser
Many spouses hesitate to divorce an abusive husband or wife because they fear retribution or other consequences of leaving their tumultuous marriage. Concerns of financial ruin, reputational damage, physical violence and other distressing factors often lead victimized spouses to remain in untenable situations for longer than they should.
Yet, most survivors of abuse will attest that leaving an abusive relationship is the first necessary step towards dramatically improving their lives. It may be necessary to divorce an abusive husband or wife if your spouse:
- Touches you in a harmful manner
- Attempts to limit your communication with others
- Restricts your use to vehicles, monitors your schedule
- Destroys property
- Engages in other abusive behavior.
No one should have to remain in a relationship where they are being harmed or are unable to act freely.
Texas Laws to Protect Abuse Victims
If you have a partner who is physically abusive, there are Texas laws in place to help you safely escape the relationship. Similarly, if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship with a person who is controlling or who attempts to manipulate and coerce you, there are legal options to assist you with leaving. When seeking a divorce due to abuse, understanding your legal protections is key to walking away stronger and more secure once and for all.
Texas laws offer protective orders for abused spouses, which restrict contact and communication from their abusers. For mothers and fathers who are concerned that an abusive spouse may attempt to hurt or abscond with their children, supervised visitation is also available. In some instances, complete termination of parental rights might even be in order. An experienced family attorney can provide you with a detailed plan to protect yourself and your loved ones when initiating a divorce with an abusive husband or wife.
The Process of Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)
TRO’s are filed when needed with the original petition for divorce and are renewable every 14 days. If needed, an attorney will visit the court every two weeks to extend the TRO until such time as a temporary order is in place. It can take 1-2 months to schedule a temporary order hearing before the court. After the hearing, an attorney will get at least one week to draft and review the orders. Reviewing and entering temporary orders typically take about two weeks from the hearing, and local rules in Texas require that the reviewer get 5 days to review.
You Are Not Alone
Taking steps to leave an abusive relationship can be intimidating. It is easy to feel alone in your struggle, but you are definitely not alone. Within the United States, twenty people per minute are abused by their partners. Domestic abuse is a pervasive problem that affects countless families across the spectrum.
When you have decided it is time to initiate a divorce due to abuse, the supportive team at Ramos Law is here to help. Our experienced attorneys and staff are ready to usher you through every phase of the divorce process and will make sure that you receive every protection offered by the law along the way. Contact Ramos Law today for further information on how to divorce an abusive husband or divorce an abusive wife.