Navigating a toxic divorce
In Illinois, you can divorce for any reason including the fact that you’ve simply fallen out of love with your spouse. However, your spouse may not like the idea of living without you. Therefore, he or she may stalk, harass or otherwise act in an abusive manner to retain control over your life. There are a few actions that you can take, however, that can ameliorate the effects of this behavior.
Build a support network
A support network is crucial during any divorce, but it may be even more critical for your health and safety if you’re being harassed or abused. Your support network can include close friends, family members or anyone else who can help to protect your mental and physical health. You may also want to enlist a neutral party to serve as a trustee over financial accounts, real estate or other assets that your spouse may try to liquidate or deplete before the divorce is finalized.
Get a protective order
If your spouse has actively engaged in violence or made threats of violence toward you, a judge could grant an order of protection. The same would likely be true if your spouse was harming or threatening to harm your children.
A protective order would prevent your spouse from coming too close to your home, place of work or other areas that you might frequent such as a gym or church. The order might also prevent your spouse from contacting you or your kids by phone, on social media or through other means.
Although your spouse may try to delay divorce proceedings, they cannot stop them. Furthermore, the structure of a divorce settlement is unlikely to change just because your spouse wants it to. The judge in your proceedings is required by law to split your marital assets in a way that is equitable to both parties.