In February my husband told me, in a rage, that he was going to take my keys and phone and wanted me out of the house (because I did not earn the money to purchase those things). During his tirade he threw a wooden chair and picked me up off the ground by my neck. I had my purse close by and fled. I spent the rest of the day crying to my mother and mother-in law on the phone form my car. This was not the first time he had been violent, but it was the worst. I found out through tracking his phone that my husband drove a couple of hours away, so I went back home to be with my kids for the night. He texted me that he would stay overnight with friends. I made sure to be out of the house by the time he returned the following day. A friend took me to InteraAct where they had me fill out a questionnaire about likelihood of homicide and encouraged me to have a plan for where I could go if it happened again. At that time I did expect my husband to apologize and I thought I would be returning home despite the fact that I had been experiencing an increase in his violent behavior. We had been working on our marriage through a video therapy course and had just started seeing a therapist in person. I had high hopes of it working. We have 2 homeschooled teenagers and I knew that he would quickly be overwhelmed without me. Unfortunately he did not apologize, but instead said that I provoked him. We saw a marriage counselor, that we had seen only one time prior to this incident, within a week. My husband admitted his actions to her. He was still not remorseful. We have not seen her since and he has refused to get any more counseling. Since then I have been visiting my kids a few times per week. My husband and I have spoken, and he did do some apologizing through texts, but has been angry on and off when I encounter him in person. I am definitely scared of him. I had suggested taking turns in the house while we pursued therapy but he refused, and so I did not feel safe moving back in. We met with our pastor once for counseling, but my husband lost his temper and stormed out. My pastor advised me not to return home. I have been staying with a few different families since I left. I continued to express my desire for therapy to help us repair to no avail. Then, on the day before Mother’s Day my kids told me that he was dating. One of my sons came out of his room at 10 pm the previous week to find a strange woman on our couch. I confronted my husband the next day (Mother’s Day) and he told me that it was none of my fucking business if he had had sex with someone else because he is done with me. He obviously has. Now he says I should get my stuff out of the house. He spends nights away from home without telling my kids that he is planning to stay out, or where he is going. I have a video of him telling my older son that he doesn’t care if my kids go live with me. I have not worked in over a decade due to being a home educator and now have no money and no home. I also have no degree. Luckily I do still have the car I left with. I am eager to remove my kids from his “care” now that I understand that he has no intention of repairing our marriage. I have parents who can help me temporarily but I don’t want them to have to pay for my husband’s abuse and adultery. I could really use some advice on what rights I have and how to pursue them.
You should file a motion/complaint for a domestic violence protective order which if granted (and it would be likely that it would be granted give the situation you describe), the order will prevent your husband from being around you, being in the home, and could grant you temporary custody of the children.
You’ll need to follow the domestic violence protective order with a court complaint (lawsuit) for child custody, child support, postseparation support, alimony, and equitable distribution.
For more detailed information on domestic violence protective orders, including the court process for how to get one and what information/evidence you’ll need to present, see our article Domestic Violence and Staying Safe - The Details.
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