Abuse and Divorce
5 Keys to Obtaining a Satisfying Outcome
in Your Domestic Violence Divorce

Dr. King



by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Navigating the exit out of an abusive relationship can be as horrific as weathering the blow of domestic abuse in one’s home. But, it doesn’t have to be. There are things that you can actually do to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome in your domestic violence custody case.

In working with domestic abuse survivors going through divorce, I recognize specific themes that appear to be associated with a successful outcome for battered mothers in divorce proceedings.


Seeing your circumstances for what they are and reporting on events as they occurred is both basic and essential to a positive outcome in a domestic violence divorce. The key question is how do you go from standing in the stream of conflict to positioning yourself outside of it looking in?

From this vantage point, you will open to a clarity that will save you and significantly help those you seek to protect—your vulnerable children.


By clarity, I mean seeing the issues in your case unencumbered by the way you feel in relation to the load. It’s a “clarity of vision” that comes as a result of allowing yourself to fully experience all that brought you to where you are today.

Just beyond that experience is the objectivity and precision that you need to define the dynamics and issues without the emotion. From here, you can confidently campaign for your best interest and highest good.

Now, I am not suggesting that you take these horrific feelings and unload with your divorce attorney. More often than not he/she will not have the time or bedside manner to deal with the intensity of your experience around domestic abuse and the threat of being separated from your children. This is part of the homework you must do outside of your meetings with counsel. As you do, you will step into a relationship with your attorney having communication that moves you forward in your case.


Women who have made friends with finances and financial matters can more easily cut through the chase on issues that leave many litigants hanging in the wind, indefinitely. These women are not intimidated by concepts of economics; rather they are challenged to assemble the marital estate puzzle and parse out their appropriate share. They handle child support like a business transaction rather than an emotional roller-coaster.


Having a personal commitment to break the cycle of abuse is pivotal to a satisfying outcome in one’s domestic violence divorce. Far too often, domestic abuse survivors cultivate a relationship with their attorney that carries the same power and control tactics as they experience with their soon-to-be ex.

This decision to break the cycle of abuse goes beyond the decision to leave your intimate partner or to pick up the pieces after he/she has filed for divorce. It’s a personal life commitment that is proactive, not reactive.


As with most things in life, a spiritual connection fortifies the life warrior...and so is the case in domestic violence divorce. Now, this doesn’t mean that if you start participating in organized religion, you will win your case. What it means is that with your inner connection to infinite resources, you are better equipped to overcome the challenges of divorce and child custody issues.

If you are in a domestic abuse divorce, be mindful of where you are relative to your objectivity, clarity, finances, commitment and communion. Seeking mastery in these will be a blessing you will cherish during and after your divorce.

For help in clarifying abuse dynamics and divorce issues, visit www.preventabusiverelationships.com/consulting.html. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps individuals nationwide end and heal domestic abuse. © Jeanne King, Ph.D. — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

For ongoing support to break the cycle of abuse, visit www.DomesticAbuseSupport.com

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.