Abuse and Divorce - You Are Not the
Only Victim in Your Domestic Violence Divorce

Dr. King

by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Domestic violence survivors often believe they are the only victims in their divorce proceedings. And this belief adds to their victimization. While it is true that they are indeed victimized by the partner they are divorcing, their partners may be victims of legal counsel.

Some successful, lucrative divorce law practices consist of clients that are highly motivated to litigate. And an angry, get even, gain control type of litigant is highly motivated to do all that can be done to WIN, including protracted litigation and/or the threat of litigation ad nauseam.

The Abuser As Divorce Attorney’s Victim

So this couple, abuser and his divorce lawyer, are ripe for another kind of abusive relationship. We see them all the time. You may not recognize them, because you’re focused on your soon-to-be ex-partner as being an empowered gunman with a loaded pistol.

You see his* attorney as his loaded gun, and may not realize that your soon-to-be ex-partner is a victim of the gun he points at you. The gun is most likely fueling the already existing venom within the perpetrator, more likely than encouraging his client to settle with you.

Opposing counsel is supporting the “my way, no way” mentality of the abuser and my way is often leaving you homeless, penniless and childless. Let’s face it, the abuser needs to save face, show his rightness and maintain control at all costs. And counsel will help him do just that.

So when the abuser loses some steam, his attorney will keep the fire going by reminding him of how horrible life will be when you get such and such and he has to pay you whatever amount. You get the picture?

What Breaks the Cycle of Legal Abuser Victimization?

Now, often this will be done until the abuser has been turned upside down and every dime has been shaken out of his pockets. Then, counsel will encourage closure on what seemed to be endless litigation.

The importance of your seeing this is that once you do, it will have an empowering effect on you. You will see that you are entangled in an abuse dynamic that is larger than you and the abusive partner you long to have out of your life.

* My reference to the abuser in this scenario as being a man only reflects the publicized trends and does not mean to imply that men are not victimized by their female partners.

For more information about domestic abuse and divorce, see Legal Domestic Abuse: How to Successfully Navigate the System, before the abuse in your divorce spirals out of control. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from family violence and legal abuse. Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D. www.PreventAbusiveRelationships.com/legal_domestic_abuse.php

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. – Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

This series of eInsights is presented to you by Partners in Prevention, a nonprofit organization. If you find this eInsight article useful, we invite you to contribute to the maintenance and growth of the Survivor Success Tips & eInsights. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.EndDomesticAbuse.org

Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.