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Massachusetts divorce: Help leaving abusive relationships

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As such, it seems appropriate to discuss Massachusetts laws regarding this issue. At the end of the day, abuse in the home is a serious concern, and those who are ready to leave such relationships may seek the assistance of divorce attorneys in order to discuss their options.

Domestic violence is basically defined as any form of abuse committed against a family member or significant other. In Massachusetts this could mean causing fear of physical injury, causing physical injury or engaging in sexual abuse. There are other forms of abuse that are not as widely talked about, including:

  • Economic
  • Emotional
  • Neglect

Those who are accused of domestic violence will be arrested if a responding officer feels there is probable cause. Those who are believed to be in violation of protective orders will also be arrested. Victims of domestic violence cannot have charges dropped. This is an issue that the state takes very seriously and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

Leaving an abusive relationship is not always easy as there is fear of retaliation and a general fear of the unknown. A victim of domestic violence does have a choice and a voice in the situation. For those who are ready, there are a number of resources in Massachusetts that are open and available to help these individuals escape abuse and rebuild their lives. Along with seeking assistance from various public services, those who are ready to legally dissolve their marriages may do so by filing for divorce. Others who are not quite there can take actions to obtain legal separations, settle custody matters and seek protection from their abusers.

Source: FindLaw, "Massachusetts Domestic Violence Laws", Accessed on Sept. 29, 2015

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