One of the most traumatic experiences in life is an abusive husband or domestic partner. The most essential step you must take if you are the victim of an abusive husband is getting yourself to a truly safe place.
Keep in mind that abuse is not merely physical, but it can be psychological or emotional as well. No matter the type of abuse you suffer, you may have questions about your rights when you begin the process of separating from your husband. For example, you may wonder what you can do to safely get your belongings back is your husband is abusive.
Protection from Abuse Order
One step you can take is to obtain a protection from abuse order from the court. Through this type of judicial decree, you have the ability to attempt to bar your husband from the residence you shared. By definition, this process will allow you access not only to the residence, but to your property in the home.
In reality, a protection from abuse order barring your husband from the residence may not be the best alternative for you. Depending on the nature and extent of your husband’s conduct, you may be at risk staying in the home. Indeed, there are a plethora of cases in which the issuance of a protection from abuse order that bars a husband from a shared residence only serves to enflame and embolden the man’s inappropriate conduct.
You may want to get a protection from abuse order. However, you may also want to be the person who vacates the premises and goes to live somewhere else inaccessible to your spouse for your own safety.
Involve Law Enforcement
If you are vacating the premises, and want your belongings, you need to involve law enforcement in the process. You can contact the sheriff’s office or the police department in your community and arrange for law enforcement personnel to be on hand when you wish to collect your belongings from the home.
Many communities have a designated individual or office, either within the court system itself or at a law enforcement agency, that can assist in making arrangements to collect your belongings when you are attempting to separate from an abusive spouse. This individual, or office, can be of significant assistance to you in facilitating the collection and removal of your personal property.
File a Divorce Case
If your husband is the abuser, you can file a divorce petition and commence marriage termination proceedings. You can file a motion with the court seeking access to the residence, with oversight by law enforcement for your safety. The judge in your case will be able to issue an order in regard to the removal of your belongings. If your husband fails to comply with the order, or interferes with the process, he can face sanctions from the court.
Not All Abusers are Men
Although a majority of reported abuse cases involve male perpetrators, there are cases in which a wife or female domestic partner is the abuser. The same general rules and practices apply if it is a male attempting to retrieve his belongings from a shared residence.
Friends and Family
Enlisting the help of friends and family to assist in retrieving your property may seem like a logical solution on the surface. However, time and again, bringing family or friends along only serves to enflame an already bad situation. While it may be acceptable to bring a friend or family along to assist in removing belongings, keep in mind that there is no alternative to enlisting the presence of law enforcement to be at the scene.
Retain Legal Counsel
A solid course to take when dealing with an abusive husband or domestic partner, and the need to retrieve your belongings, is to retain legal counsel. An attorney can counsel you on the options available to you. In addition, a lawyer can assist you in obtaining the support you need to secure the recovery of your belongings in a safe way.
You can schedule an initial consultation with an experienced attorney to discuss your situation with a legal professional. As a general rule, no fee is charged for an initial consultation with an attorney in this type of situation.