Ensuring Personal Safety in Divorces for Abusive Situations
A divorce, especially one stemming from abusive situations, can be a very difficult, stressful time for you and your family. It’s important to know that you have options available to help protect yourself and your children during this process. You may want to consider getting an order of protection against your spouse or partner, which can help prevent further abuse while the divorce plays out in court.
But, there are a number of steps to take in this difficult situation to ensure your safety and the safety of your children.
Before Attempting Divorce in Abusive Situations
Considering the situation you’re in, it might be necessary to gather all official documents and records that are related to your marriage. This includes birth certificates for yourself and any children you have together, marriage licenses, divorce decrees and separation agreements if applicable.
You will also want to know where your spouse is living so that you can serve him or her with the divorce papers. Serving Papers Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and information, it’s time to serve.
You can serve your spouse with the divorce papers in person or by mail. If you choose to serve them in person, you’ll need to make sure that he or she is served as soon as possible. If you’re going to use mail, be sure to send the papers certified and return receipt requested so that you have proof of delivery. If your spouse does not respond within 21 days of being served, you can consider the divorce filed. If you want to know more about how to get divorced in Florida, contact an experienced family law attorney today.
If You Cannot Safely Deliver These Documents
Process servers are people who can legally deliver papers on your behalf. If you cannot safely get these documents to your spouse, you can ask a friend or relative to serve as a process server. In some cases, spouses have even hired professional process servers.
If this is the case, you can still use a friend or relative to serve as a process server. However, the person who serves your spouse must be at least 18 years old and cannot be related to either of you by blood, marriage or adoption. A process server cannot accept money for serving papers unless that service is part of their job.
If You Cannot Collect Personal Effects and Documents
If you cannot collect your personal effects and documents, you can take legal action to do so. You may file a motion for the court to order your spouse to return them. However, this can be time consuming and costly.
You can also file a motion for the court to order your spouse to pay you the value of your personal effects and documents. This form of compensation is only appropriate if there is no dispute about whether your spouse took them or not.
In regards to your legal documentation, the discovery process can assist you with recovering everything you need for the divorce.
In either case, contacting an experienced family law attorney is an absolute necessity for both your success and sanity. Our leading team at Thompson Law understands, and can provide you with helpful council in either situation.