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domestic abuse victims, domestic abuse, domestic abuse and divorce, divorce process, domestic abuse casesAccording to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), roughly 20 people are abused by an intimate spouse every minute throughout the United States. Tragically, an average of 10 million Americans face domestic abuse every year. Due to pressures the victims face from their spouse, only 34 percent of domestic abuse victims receive medical treatment for their injuries.

For victims of domestic abuse, divorce can represent the only permanent way to find refuge from their abuser. Unfortunately, even in cases of domestic abuse, divorce is never as simple as most Americans assume. For a litany of reasons, finding a dedicated divorce attorney is critical in ensuring you and your family can safely remove yourselves from a dangerous and unhealthy situation, and receive the guidance you deserve.

How an Attorney Can Help

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Domestic violence is a pervasive issue in America. In fact, it seems there is a news story almost daily on the death or injury of a domestic violence victim. Often, the reported violence is connected to a victim trying to leave, either through separation or divorce. It is, by far, the most dangerous time for them. Learn how to protect yourself and your children during a divorce with help from the following information, and the aid of an experienced attorney.

Leaving is the Most Dangerous Time for Abuse Victims

Abusers who are losing control of their victim can become unpredictable and exceedingly violent. Some may even resort to showing up at the victim's place of employment or home. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate against this type of behavior. Victims can seek help with an order of protection, which bars the abuser from coming within a certain distance from the victim. Divorcing victims can also let their attorney handle all communications between themselves and their spouse, which can limit any opportunity for an argument. Above all, remember to contact the authorities if you fear you are in immediate danger.

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The decision to divorce is rarely made in a day. In fact, it is not uncommon to spend months or years deliberating and wrestling with the possibility of ending a marriage. Unfortunately, this means that some may become impatient to move forward with their lives. As such, they may move too quickly through the divorce process, upset their spouse, and ultimately create a negative divorce experience. Thankfully, there is a better way.

Remember That You Had a Head Start

One of the most common mistakes that deciding parties make is they forget that they have already had a head start in dealing and coping with the idea of divorce. Your spouse, who may not have even been aware of your unhappiness, has not had this advantage. They may be shocked. They may get upset or angry. At the very least, they may be in an emotionally fragile state. As such, it is recommended that you carefully consider your words, your timing, and your response to the possible reactions of your spouse.

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Domestic violence can impact people from any social class, gender, race, or income level. It can also complicate divorces far beyond that of debt and asset distribution, the allocation of parental responsibilities, and child support or alimony determination. It can place the lives of victims and their children in danger. For this reason, it is critical that every domestic violence victim seek experienced legal assistance with their divorce case. The following explains where to find this help, and how it may improve the safety of you and your children during the divorce process.

Safety First - Always Have a Plan

Not all victims know they want to divorce. Some may fear the risk that it could pose to their safety. However, all victims should have a safety plan - one that gives them direction in the event that their life does become endangered while they are with their abuser. This should include knowing where you will go, whom you will call, and where you will stay to ensure your safety. Once you are away, seek support from family, friends, colleagues, and domestic violence advocates. With their help, you may begin to realize that divorce can be an option, even in situations that involve domestic violence.

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Every state in America has different laws to prevent domestic violence. However, what all states have in common is that they come together to spread Domestic Violence Awareness during the month of October.

There are legal actions that someone can seek in the event that they are a victim of domestic violence. In the state of Illinois, the court has the right to grant a temporary restraining order against an alleged abuser. When (and if) after both sides attend a hearing and present their evidence, the restraining order can become more permanent.

By definition, orders of protection or restraining orders are used to provide a legal barrier between abusers and victims. In Illinois there are three different types of orders of protection: Emergency, Interim, and Plenary. Every legal situation can vary, depending on the severity of the abuse.

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