Unfortunately, not all divorce cases are amicable. In fact, some are dangerous and even violent for spouses. If you fear for your safety or that of your children while trying to get a divorce in San Diego, there are things that you can do to stay protected. If you are experiencing domestic abuse or violence during your divorce case, use these tips to make sure that you and your children are safe.
Steps to Take if You Feel Unsafe During Your Divorce
The divorce process can lead to arguments and conflict even under the best circumstances. A divorce by nature can bring out the worst in people. If your spouse is being physically, verbally or emotionally abusive, however, or has made you feel unsafe in any way, this goes beyond simply not getting along and into the definition of domestic violence. It is critical to protect yourself and your children in this case by taking the following steps:
- Call the police in an emergency. If you believe that you or a loved one is in imminent danger of bodily harm, call 911 immediately to report domestic violence or abuse.
- Take threats seriously. Assume that your spouse plans to follow up on any threats made, rather than assuming that they are empty. This can allow you to stay prepared.
- Have a safe place to go, such as a friend or loved one’s house. Once you realize that your spouse has a propensity to be violent, find a safe place to go if you need to escape in a hurry.
- Contact an attorney for help getting a restraining order. A restraining order or order of protection can force your spouse to stop all contact and communication with you and your children.
- Tell your child’s school. If you have school-age children, notify the school or daycare of the situation so they can tell you if anything unusual happens, such as your spouse picking up the kids without permission.
Always put your safety first. The moment that you become worried about your safety during a divorce, make an exit plan. Tell someone that you trust about your situation and consult with an attorney to understand how protective orders work. Keep in mind while researching that your browser history is traceable. Use a private browser or clear your history when you’re finished.
What Should I Do if I Feel My Ex Is Stalking Me?
If you believe that your ex-spouse is stalking you during or after a divorce, take steps to protect yourself immediately. This is not a situation to take lightly. One tragic example is the death of Ana Abulaban, who was shot and killed (along with her friend) by a jealous husband during her divorce case in San Diego. Call the police to report a stalker and explain your relationship. Get the courts involved, as well, by obtaining an order of protection.
Just as you would for a domestic violence situation, notify friends and family about what is going on, so you have a support system and a safety plan. Keep in mind that your ex-spouse may be able to use technology and social media to track you. In the example of the San Diego death, for instance, Nassar Abulaban downloaded an app on his daughter’s iPad to keep tabs on his wife while they were separated.
Domestic Violence Resources
For more information about domestic violence, abuse or stalking during a divorce, check out the resources below:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233)
- List of local women’s shelters
- Internet/technology safety resources
- Information about the laws in California
- Stalking resource center
- Printable stalking behavior log
In addition, you can contact the divorce attorneys at Boyd Law for a consultation if you feel unsafe during a divorce or separation in San Diego. We can help.