What advice can I give my friend who is a victim of emotional domestic abuse?

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What advice can I give my friend who is a victim of emotional domestic abuse?

Her husband has taken away any access to money, credit cards, bank accounts. She doesn’t have any vehicle. She has 2 children and he told her if she leaves she better not take the kids or she will go to jail for kidnapping. She is stuck in a bad situation and we are afraid the emotional abuse may escalate before she makes a decision to leave. Can she leave with the children? Can she leave the state with the children? What advice can I give her? Is there anyone I can talk to about her in depth (there are other circumstances)?

Asked on October 25, 2011 under Family Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your friends should speak with a family or divorce law attorney about her legal options: she may be in a position to leave him while gaining a share of the marital assets, child custody, and spousal and child support.

She should also probably speak with a support group for emotionally abused or recently divorced women, who can provide her with suggestions, the benefit of her experience, and possibly referals to counselors or therapists.

What she should not do is just leave the state with the children: such an action could result in her later losing custody of them. If there was an imminent physical danger, it *might* be justified; but not for her own emotional abuse.


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