Statistics regarding domestic violence are staggering. It can be surprising to realize how prevalent domestic violence actually is. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Many, are too shameful or fearful to come forward to report the abuse. This is primarily for fear that they will experience further harm. Ending relationships where domestic violence is present can be one of the most dangerous times for a victim. Filing for divorce, and requesting alimony may seem like a high hurdle to jump. This is a primary reason why it’s important to not only work with a victim advocate, but an experienced lawyer who can help you to understand your options when filing for divorce and requesting alimony.
The Impact of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can be incredibly impactful for victims and their families. Ending the relationship can be far more complicated than you may realize. Once a victim has successfully severed ties, the healing process can take years for a person. Domestic violence can come in more forms than just physical abuse but may also include the following:
- Power and Control
- Economic Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Verbal Abuse
Domestic violence leaves victims feeling vulnerable, penniless, fearful and isolated from natural supports. Adjusting to the road ahead can be challenging and can often result in victims feeling depressed, anxious, and hopeless.
While your lawyer will be able to handle the legal side of your divorce and subsequent alimony request, it’s recommended that victim’s contact their local domestic violence center. Many of these centers have programs that offer victim’s advocates who can help provide you with support and planning for the future. Having an advocate on your side can be of huge benefit when it comes to helping you to feel heard by hearing your story and your needs.
Types of Alimony
In some cases, the person you are divorcing may be the sole provider of the family, or they may earn an income that is far more substantial than your own. If you are the lesser earning party you may be entitled to alimony or spousal support. It’s important to know that in cases pertaining to domestic violence, it is not uncommon for a victim to have little means when leaving the relationship. The following are common types of alimony that may be requested:
- Temporary Alimony
- Permanent Alimony
- Lump Sum Alimony
- Rehabilitative Alimony
- Reimbursement Alimony
When considering financial need and whether to pursue alimony, it’s important to speak with a lawyer before initiating the process. They will be able to assist you in gathering evidence in support of your request.
Relying on a Supportive Lawyer
While the idea of ending a relationship may seem fairly straightforward, it can become incredibly complicated, especially when domestic violence is present. You will want to work with someone you can trust to help advocate for you and protect your interests during what is likely to be a challenging and even terrifying time. Choose a lawyer who is compassionate, empathetic and who feels like a good fit. Your victims advocate may even help play a key role in supporting you in this process. Working with a skilled and experienced lawyer is essential to helping you gather well documented evidence in support of your case and resolving the situation as quickly as possible.