What can I expect if I file for divorce?

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What can I expect if I file for divorce?

I have been married for about 10 years now; we have a son and house. My husband recently became very jealous and controlling (I am not giving him any reason for it).  He says he does not trust anyone and he doesn’t talk to anybody. He tells me I cannot talk to other men or wear certain clothes, he becomes violent if I do not want to have sex with him or if I do something that he does not approve of. I do not have any family in this country and don’t know what to do. Talking to him will not make any difference. I’m unemployed. I am afraid to tell him that I want a divorce – he can do something bad to me and I cannot support myself and my son at this point.

Asked on May 12, 2011 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have rights.

1) One spouse may not assult another one. You could report your husband's behavior to the police and/or get a protective order against him.

2) If you divorce him, you will be entitled to a share of the marital assets--that is, that money and property (including a house, for example, or cars) which have been acquired during your marriage. You will also likely, if your husband has been the main or only wage earned, be given at least temporary, and possibly long-term, support.

3) You have a very good chance, if your husband is violent, of getting child custody and also child support.

You should consult with a family or divorce law attorney immediately to see how to best enforce your rights. If you don't know of any or can't afford one on your own (though divorce attorneys are used to situations where one spouse does not control the money; they have ways to work while ensuring they will be paid), try talking to some orgnization that provides support for battered--including emotionally battered--women.


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