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Tips for Leaving an Abusive Marriage

There are far too many people throughout the United States trapped in abusive marriages. The good news is there are ways to get out, to get a divorce and to start a new life.

Here are a few actions you can take to help you leave an abusive relationship:

  • Speak to an attorney: Get a divorce attorney as soon as possible, and preferably one who has experience in dealing with abuse or domestic violence. If you have any reason to believe your safety is at risk, your attorney can work with you to get a restraining order as soon as possible.
  • Make a plan: You should have a place where you can go and stay to get away. Don’t flee in the spur of the moment without a plan—have a new apartment, a friend’s house or a domestic violence shelter, and keep your address hidden from your spouse. Make sure you have a specific plan for when and how you will leave.
  • Get documents: Make copies of important documents you can bring with you, including restraining orders, birth certificates, Social Security card, health insurance information, driver’s license, bank account information, passport, deeds or titles to property, and credit cards. Bring money, clothes and personal items.
  • Talk to children’s schools: Make sure your children’s teachers and principal know about your situation and can have an action plan in place in case the abuser shows up at school.
  • Get a new phone: Get a new phone or change the number of your cell phone so your abuser cannot contact you.
  • Build a support system: Get support from trusted family and friends. Talk to them about your situation and take advantage of any support they’re willing to provide you.

For more information about how to proceed with divorcing an abusive spouse, contact an experienced Minnesota attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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