Yesterday, my post was about leaving and having time to plan. That is not always possible.
If you have to leave your home quickly to get away from an abusive relationship, go to court immediately for a protective order that requires the abuser to stay away from you. If you have children, be sure the order gives you custody. Otherwise, you may be accused of kidnapping.
If you have the resources, it’s wise to hire a lawyer at this point. But don’t worry if you can’t afford to pay for legal assistance; there are many resources available to help you. If you go to a shelter, the staff should be able to help you find legal assistance quickly and file the necessary papers.
Many courts have domestic violence resources, including restraining order packets with instructions, clinics with clerks who can help with the paperwork, or judges who are available to sign restraining orders and custody orders on a very short notice. In some places, you have access to the court 24 hours a day.
Usually, you also will be able to quickly find help with delivering legal documents to your spouse; the local sheriff’s office is usually charged with this task. You have to get the papers delivered (served) before they take effect.
Sometimes, leaving may not seem like an option when you don’t know where to go. Don’t give up. Keep looking, keep trying, keep praying! Choose to live!
Heart 2 Heart Christian Ministries 817-689-9347