Each and every couple in the state of Pennsylvania will go through a range of ups and downs within their marriage. Very few, however, will experience an act of domestic violence. For those spouses who have been subjected to domestic violence, it is absolutely imperative to take steps to leave that union. This is a step that is easy to discuss but very difficult to achieve, which leaves many spouses caught in a cycle of abuse, forgiveness and fear.
Many spouses worry that they will not be able to make it on their own, and that they need their partner in order to survive or provide for their shared children. In reality, however, spouses who go through divorce are often able to negotiate a mix of child and spousal support. This, in combination with the outcome of the property division process, can give spouses the financial means necessary to leave a dysfunctional marriage.
Another cause for concern involves children and the child custody arrangement that will follow the end of a marriage. While only the most abusive partners will lose all access to their children following a divorce, the courts are very sensitive to domestic violence issues. A custody arrangement can be made that maintains a high degree of separation between former spouses, while allowing both to participate in the lives of shared children.
As with any big decision, divorce is never an easy choice to make. However, when domestic violence has left one party feeling threatened and afraid, leaving the marriage is often the only course of action that makes sense. For Pennsylvania spouses who are concerned about how the process works and what the likely outcomes might be, the path forward begins by sitting down with a divorce attorney to discuss the matter in depth.
Source: The Huffington Post, “10 Signs it Might Be Time to Divorce“, Cheryl and Joe Dillon, July 15, 2015