When parents don't get along, it's not as simple as just parting ways. Child custody can present an obstacle to some parents who are threatened with the loss of custody. Fears about losing custody of a child can be an unfortunate roadblock for those longing to get away from a psychologically abusive spouse. For help with this heart-wrenching problem, read on.
Believe the Threats
It would be a mistake to dismiss a spouse's threats. If they threaten to take your child away and that you will never see them again, take it seriously. While warring spouses can often lash out, the fact that your spouse is threatening is a red flag. If nothing else, you are dealing with what is known as an uncooperative spouse. That type of situation can turn a divorce into a dangerous situation, and prior preparation is needed.
Be Assertive in Your Actions
If your spouse is threatening to take your children from you, you might need to ask yourself if you are the right parent for the job. If you believe that you are the best parent to take custody of the child, then you have to act. Take the following actions:
Threats often have other issues hiding within them. Your spouse could be accusing you of almost anything in anger, and you need to get ahead of things by keeping up with those threats. You may end up having to fight those allegations in court, and it's vital that your divorce lawyer knows about them ahead of time. Some common themes with threatening parents are:
- You drink too much; you're a drunk.
- You don't pay enough attention to the children.
- You spend too much time at work.
- You are abusing the children sexually, violently, or psychologically.
Don't resort to threats of your own — you could be goading your spouse into taking action themselves. Instead, quietly begin planning a separation. Engage family and friends to help you separate. Put aside as much money as you can and plan to take your children (and pets) with you. Have a safe place to stay.
Speak to a divorce lawyer even if you are not ready to divorce. They can advise you on custody issues and guide you toward protecting yourself with restraining orders. You can also ask for child support and spousal support during the separation period.
Before your spouse can make good on their threats, take action. Speak to a divorce lawyer as soon as you can.