We never know what’s going on behind closed doors. Your neighbor, your colleague, and even your friend may be experiencing what millions of people across the nation are going through every day— abuse from a “loved” one.
We’ve seen our clients experience emotional, financial, and physical abuse during divorce, and we understand how devastating domestic violence can be for the entire family. With more than 70 years of combined legal experience, we have the means to help you prepare for what lies ahead. SANTO MEHAS A Professional Law Corporation will be your dedicated advocate and protect your rights.
Seek Safety Immediately
Domestic violence comes in many forms. Your partner may be controlling and lash out at you during fights, or perhaps your spouse threatened abuse at the news of a divorce. Whatever your backstory may be, you should seek safety immediately when you feel like you are in danger. Try to have cash saved up and arrange a safe place to stay, specifically one that isn’t somewhere your partner will know.
If you need guidance, there are a variety of resources available, including:
Ventura County Crisis Team: 1-866-998-2243 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Law Enforcement and Medical Emergencies: 911
Interface Children & Family Services: 1-800-636-6738 (services include a family violence response team, a safe haven emergency shelter, a safe journey transitional shelter, and a women’s support group)
2-1-1 Ventura County Information & Referral: Call 2-1-1
Project Connecting with my Peers: Educating women about the early signs of depression, Oxnard: (805) 483-1166; Santa Paula / Fillmore: (818) 427-5444
The National Domestic Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Get Legal Help
Once you feel secure, you should seek the guidance of a skilled lawyer with experience in divorces involving domestic abuse. You need someone that understands the dynamics of such a relationship and can help prevent you from being intimidated into an unfair divorce agreement. If your case goes to trial, you need someone who can enlighten the judge about your circumstances and be willing to protect you and your children.
At SANTO MEHAS A Professional Law Corporation, we will take the appropriate steps to get you and your family protection. We can help you file a request for a domestic violence restraining order with the courts if you have been threatened by your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, giving you and your kids legal protection during divorce proceedings.
Gather Evidence and Keep a Record
Keep careful records of every incident of physical or emotional abuse that involves you or your kids. Write down the date, time, and place of every event, along with a description of what happened and any injuries that occurred. You should be as detailed as possible, including the police report, photographs of damaged property, text messages, and medical records. These will be critical pieces of evidence that will help your lawyer build your case.
Think of a Custody Plan for Your Kids
If you have children, you should go to the court right away and obtain an emergency protective order that temporarily gives you custody of the kids and requires your spouse to stay away from you. Do not leave with your children if you do not get the legal order because you may be accused of kidnapping.
You should also think of a long-term plan. Although courts prefer to have both parents active in a child’s life, their main priority is their health, safety, and wellbeing. Abusive spouses are less likely to gain custody because it would not be in the child’s best interest. The judge may decide to give supervised visitation or order the abusive parent to have all exchanges in a public setting. In some extreme cases, the judge may terminate the parental rights altogether and award full custody to the other parent.
Start the Divorce Process with SANTO MEHAS A Professional Law Corporation
Divorces are difficult to go through alone without the added pressure of a violent spouse. To help alleviate the stress, we will walk you through each step with compassion and support you. No person should have to endure abuse, and we want to help make sure you don’t have to live with it any longer.
Get in touch with our Ventura divorce attorneys by calling (805) 222-7818 to learn more about how we can help you with your case.