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Divorces are rarely as amicable as spouses desire, but most spouses are at least able to limit their aggression to verbal outbursts in court. Sadly, for some spouses, divorce is more than a battle over property or child support; it is, quite literally, a life-or-death situation. It is far from unheard of for spouses to lash out upon learning of their impending separation. Sometimes, the consequences are deadly.

Why Divorce Triggers Violence

Domestic violence is far too prominent in modern marriages, but in some cases, the real threat begins after couples have separated. The presence of children doesn’t mitigate the problem, but rather, appears to be correlated with domestic violence. According to a 2012 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, women living with children but without a spouse suffer intimate partner violence at ten times the rate of those living with both spouses and children.

What Can Be Done to Protect Spouses?

In most cases, spouses need not fear for their safety when filing for divorce. For others, however, warning signs may exist. How spouses respond to mere discussions of divorce can say a lot about how they’ll react if actually presented with papers. Additionally, a history of violence within the marriage could strongly indicate the potential for even worse conduct during the divorce.

If you suspect that you may be at risk upon filing for divorce, it may be worth your while to pursue an Order for Protection. Often referred to as a restraining order, this legal action can provide some semblance of protection as you proceed with your divorce. If you successfully secure a restraining order, your ex will be prohibited from contacting you for a specific period of time.

Whether you desire a restraining order or are looking to file for divorce, you can count on the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. for assistance. Reach out to learn more about our broad range of family law services.