An abusive relationship is spirit-crushing, whether you are experiencing physical, verbal, emotional, financial, or some other type of abuse. If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably realized you don’t deserve to be hurt anymore, and you may have started gathering the courage to leave your abuser. What many men in New Jersey who are fleeing an abusive relationship don’t realize is that you may not be safe the instant you leave your relationship. Instead, you may need to follow these tips for our New Jersey divorce attorneys to protect yourself.
Please note that this advice should not be taken as one size fits all, nor do we claim to be experts on the topic of domestic violence. Instead, we advocate for men and fathers’ rights to be free from domestic violence through our legal services. If you are in danger in your relationship and need trusted guidance, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.
What You Need to Know About Restraining Orders
Many men who are fleeing a domestic violence situation don’t feel it’s necessary to file for a restraining order. They don’t think a court order will keep their ex from harassing or harming them. This may be the case, but a restraining order also creates an opportunity for recourse if these situations do arise.
We almost always recommend that a man who is leaving his abuser file for a temporary restraining order while taking other steps to protect himself. If things go better than expected after the breakup, you don’t need to pursue a longer-lasting restraining order. But, if your ex begins harassing you digitally or in person, stalking you, or commits a physical act of violence against you, the fact that you already have a restraining order against her will ensure the courts take her behavior seriously – which, sadly, is not always a given for men who are being abused by women.
Keeping Your Kids Safe: Emergency Child Custody
When you leave your abuser, you will want to keep your kids safe from retaliation. If you do not currently have a custody order in place, you may be able to leave with your children now and request permission to maintain custody of them later. However, if you do have a current custody order and would violate it by taking your children, you should speak to a New Jersey divorce lawyer about how you can be granted emergency child custody even before you file for divorce.
Emergency custody is generally granted by a judge when one parent is proven to be a danger to the child. In the case of a physically abusive parent, this may be proven with medical records and police reports. If the parent is neglectful of the children, refusing to meet their needs once you’re out of the picture, you will need to prove this behavior through CPS documents, eyewitness testimony, or electronic communications.