What should I do if I think my spouse will become violent if I ask for a divorce?

Invariably, long-married couples reach a stage where one might joke that “the honeymoon’s over” — but sometimes it isn’t a joke. And sometimes it doesn’t take very long for a couple to reach that point where one partner may consider getting a divorce. In fact, a woman was recently arrested and allegedly admitted to fatally stabbing her husband of less than three months after he reportedly asked her for a divorce.

Divorce is easy and often comes with some potent emotions—like hurt, disappointment, anger, embarrassment, fear, and more. Sometimes divorces can be worked out amicably while other times they are hotly-contested. In cases of domestic abuse, it can be difficult for an abused spouse to summon the courage to commence divorce proceedings. But a skilled Phoenix domestic violence attorney – – as well as the police in emergency situations – – can help victims of abuse exit their current situation.

Generally, the longer a couple is married, the greater the likelihood that the factors they must resolve in order to be divorced require more effort to work through. For example, long-married couples have had more time to acquire property and assets which now will need to be divided. 

In addition, the longer a couple is together, the more likely they may have had children together. And if those children are minors at the time of divorce, the couple needs to work out not only child support, but also child custody and visitation, known in Arizona as “legal decision-making” and “parenting time”, respectively. The former is a parent’s ability to make major life decisions for the child while the latter is the time a parent has physical custody of the child. 
Alimony, or spousal support, is another factor to consider when couples divorce and is generally more typically awarded in a longer marriage than in a brief one.

Regardless of how long or briefly a couple has been married, it is always best to consult with a skilled divorce attorney prior to asking a spouse for a divorce, especially if there is reason to believe the spouse may react in a dangerous manner.

If you are considering filing for divorce in Arizona, have been served with divorce papers, or need assistance with any other family law matter, Cohen Family Law can help you because that’s all we do. Contact us today for a free consultation.
From our offices in Phoenix, we offer compassionate, affordable legal representation in all aspects of family law to clients throughout Arizona.