Leaving a toxic relationship is scary at the best of times. If you have children, it's even harder. You don't have just yourself to worry about. You have children whose needs you must also think about.
There are many questions that mothers ask when they decide to leave an abusive partner. Some common ones are:
- Does my partner have the right to keep me from taking the children?
- What if he threatens to hurt the children to try to keep me from leaving or taking them?
- What if my partner lies about his behaviour to try to keep my children from me?
- What if I can't afford to take care of them on my own?
- What if I need legal help to sort out custody issues but I can't afford a lawyer?
- My partner is not my children's biological father. Can he still demand to see them or have custody rights?
- What legal rights and responsibilities do I have to my children if I leave my abusive partner?
- If my partner demands to keep the children, should I let him?
- What if my abusive partner is legally allowed access to or custody of my children but I'm afraid he'll hurt them?
- Will it be worse for my children if we leave than if we stay?
These are tough questions. Every woman's situation is unique. The solutions are not always the same for every woman.
But there ARE solutions, and there ARE people in your community who can answer your questions. There are professionals who can give you legal advice and provide you and your children protection and safety. There are people who can provide emotional support and counseling for both you and your children.
Many of these services are available to you completely free of charge or at a subsidized rate. All you have to do is find them. That's why we're here.