Dealing with Violent or Abusive Ex-Spouse
In this type of situation, you only have two choices – either to get a divorce so you can finally separate with your abusive wife or try to save the marriage by engaging the services of a marriage counselor. In case you choose to end the marriage, the first thing that you must do is to get in touch with an effective and efficient lawyer. Talk to an attorney on how you can deal with your wife who has shown violence and intimidation over your person. You can allow the said lawyer to prepare the necessary petitions and complaints in court against your soon-to-be ex-wife.
There are different ways on how violence may be manifested by the other party during or after the marriage. One of the most common types of ferocity that may be exhibited by your ex-spouse is physical abuse. This happens when the person performs unwanted physical contact by punching or hitting you. Another form is emotional abuse wherein they prevents you from leaving the marriage or says things that may hurt your ego.
Take note that the issuance of a final decree of divorce by a judge does not mean that the violent days of your ex-spouse are already over. In fact, there is a high possibility that the person will become more violent and abusive especially that the marital union has been severed. This is the reason why you have to be extra-careful in every single thing that you do. Make sure that you have a contact number of the police station so that it will be easier for you to contact the authorities should your ex-spouse try to cause harm.
Even if the divorce proceedings are over, you must still keep in touch with your lawyer. His or her assistance may be needed anytime especially if your ex-spouse becomes violent and abusive again. A family law attorney will advise clients to consider also hiring the services of a therapist in case the abusive attitude of your ex-spouse has caused a serious damage and toll in your life.
Can I Bring an Abuse Case Against My Spouse After the Divorce?
You can file a tort action against your ex-spouse after divorce, yes. How the courts will decide is another matter.
Every case is decided by its individual merits. However, in the case of Stuart v. Stuart 140 Wis. 2d 455, 410 N.W.2d 632 (Ct. App. 1987) (Affirmed by 143 Wis. 2d 347, 421 N.W.2d 505 (1988)), a wife made a similar decision to file a tort action against her husband approximately 3 months after their final divorce judgment. Aside from the specifics of this case, the wife decided to bring a tort action against her husband for assault, battery, and emotional distress three months after the final divorce judgment. The husband moved for a summary judgment, claiming the action was barred. The trial court granted summary judgment and subsequently dismissed the claim. The wife appealed and the court of appeals reversed. Upon review, the supreme court affirmed the court of appeals decision.
References: Stuart v. Stuart
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