I Want a Divorce, Where to Start?

Updated on June 23, 2008
V.T. asks from Springfield, MO
63 answers

I want to file for a divorce, but I have no idea where to start, the children are not his and they are beginning to resent him. Everyone in the house is miserable but my husband says that he is happy, even when he is picking fights. I have suggested we go to counseling and he refuses to go, saying that he is happy and does not need counseling. Things are getting progressively worse, even to the point of him locking me in a closet when he knows that I am clostrophobic. I want out and I don't know where to start, can someone help with this since no one responded to my previous request for suggestions????

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K.W.

answers from Kansas City on

I don't care whether you're claustrophobic or not, him locking you in a closet is NOT okay. Who cares if he's happy? If you are not and you feel at all afraid of him, you need to leave. NOW.

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L.B.

answers from Wichita on

If you want the house, do not leave. I was told after filing you can have him removed from the property, but you must file first! The cops will even escort him out, at least that is what I was told. Good luck.

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J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Who cares if he's happy? You don't need his permission to get a divorce. Go get one. Call a divorce lawyer. Many divorce attorneys will give you at least one consultation for free. If you're broke, let them know that up front. Judges have been known to order an abusive husband to pay for the wife's attorney fees.

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L.K.

answers from Wichita on

Hi V., my name is L. & both me and my mom have been in this situation. The first thing you need to do is find a lawyer, if money is a restriction you can go to Kansas Legal Aid, it costs $500 for an uncontested divorce. When he is given the legal separation papers make sure that there is a stipulation that you want counseling not just for the marrage, but for the family. Also regareless I would definitely recomend that you look for counseling services for the kids. I hope all works out.
L.

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P.H.

answers from Wichita on

OK, first off, I'm thinking "progressively worse" doesn't even beging to cover it. For a grown man to lock his wife who is clausterphobic in a closet , forget that, for him to lock his wife in a closet for ANY reason is beyond weird. It is my opinion you and your children are in danger from his odd and unpredictible behavior. EITHER get him out of the house, now, or you and your children need to leave. That is where you start.

Since he is refusing to get help, I am willing to bet that he will not want to leave, so you might not even bother going that route. You are the sole advocate for your children and need to make sure they are in a safe environment. Having their mother forcibly locked in a closet doesn't qualify for a safe environment.

Once you take that step, then you need to deal with divorce.

You may have to call the police, turn him in for domestic violence (locking you in a closet will probably qualify) have him removed from the home, and during that time you gather your children and what you need and get out.

Good grief. If he's doing things like this to you, what is he doing to your kids?PLEASE be safe. I hope you have friends or family who can help you.

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S.M.

answers from Joplin on

GET OUT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are in an abusive relationship and as soon as you file for a divorce, his ego will be injured and things will get progressively worse fast! I have seen it in my mother's marriage and in my daughter's relationship. Find a shelter or a safe place NOW and go. Any person who will lock you in a closet, knowing you are terrified, is a sick person.
He is happy, because everyone else is miserable. You need to protest yourself and your children. RUN!!!

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L.B.

answers from Springfield on

Hi V.,

First of all I am sorry you have to go thru this. Divorce is just a difficult thing to go thru no matter what. I stayed in a unhappy marrige 2 years after I knew I wanted a divorce, so my advice is DO NOT make that same mistake. If you are unhappy and want out, then get out and make yourself and your kids happy. It can be done and it easier than you think. Talk to a lawyer before you do anything and see what all of your options are and how to protect yourself and your kids. It is obvious that he doesn't want to work on the problems or he would go to counseling with you. In that case divorce is the only other option. It is not healthy for you or your children to stay in this type of environment. I wish you the best of luck and think you need to talk to some family memebers because it always helps to have extra support and then find a lawyer and seek some legal advice. Good luck!

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M.B.

answers from Kansas City on

If he locked you in a closet, you need to get out! I can only think that is just the beginning of what could become a horrible pattern. I don't know your financial situation, but Regina Bass is a very reputable divorce attorney. I heard she is known as the barracuda. I didn't use her, and wouldn't recommend my attorney, but I've heard good things about Bass. While you are going through the settlement of the divorce, I would also recommend that you visit with a financial advisor on your options when you begin to split assets, and also a mortgage broker. They can help guide you in wording in the decree to make sure there aren't issues in your future that would impede your ability to purchase your own home. Just a few things I wish I would have known when I went through my divorce! Good luck to you.

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A.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Locking you in a closet..... sounds like the beginning of an abusive relationship.... that's childish and controlling behavior. And if you have issues with the marriage, he has issues with the marriage-you're married to each other!! If he was married to himself, then his sole happiness would be the question. You definately need support and a plan. First, call a lawyer, secure your finances! When you tell him you want a divorce, have the kids gone and tell others that's what you'll be talking about-maybe have a "chaperone"..?? There are a lot of resources out there, and ask for support and/or help!! Good luck and God Bless you and your family.

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S.T.

answers from Kansas City on

By locking you in a closet, he's being abusive. Either pack up and get out, or pack his stuff and change the locks. Is the house his, yours or both? Can you afford the house on your own? While your packing, call a good lawyer. They can get you a temporary restraining order and let you know where to go from there. Good luck, I know how hard it is to make this decision and go through with it.

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S.P.

answers from Kansas City on

(1) Start with a good lawyer. And start quietly, behind his back. I hate to say that, but the fact that he locked a claustrophobic person in a closet (for fun, to torture or punish you?) demonstrates that you cannot trust him. Find a divorce lawyer and go for a consultation - what will a divorce look and feel like, and how can you prepare yourself financially and otherwise. If your husband is the breadwinner and you can't personally afford a lawyer, BORROW as much money as you can for the lawyer from family and friends for the first consult, and let the lawyer go after your husband for the rest of the fees.

(2) Get ready financially. You don't say anything about your financial situation, but if you are relying on him for support, you should start putting some money in an account that is not in his name in case he manages to cut you off totally. Actually, you should do that even if you are not relying on him for support, because people have been known to clean out joint bank accounts out of spite when they are angry - and he doesn't sound like he's interested in going anywhere, so a divorce will probably make him angry. You need to figure out how much you will need to get an apartment or whatever you can afford, and start sliding some cash away from the community so that you won't be stranded.

(3) Figure out your support system. If things get bad and he gets mean, do you have somewhere to go? Who would take you and four kids in? Parents, siblings, friends? It's a lot to ask, but you need to have a back-up plan. If he moved into your house, if he gets belligerent, you might have to have him booted legally.

Good luck and let us know how things go for you.

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D.M.

answers from St. Louis on

HI V.,

I read what most of the others told you, BUT I think they didn't answer what you were really looking for.

DON'T LET HIM KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
Yes, you need to becareful and get out when you can BUT until then this is what I think hope it helps you.

1. Start saving money for when you leave, put it in your own bank account or let someone you trust keep it for you.

2. Take out a credit card in your name only. Buy something that doesn't cost a lot and then pay it off. This will give you credit in your own name. Build it up as much as you can.

3. If the medical insurance is in his name make appts for you and the kids. All types of check up. Like Yearly female check up. Kids yearly check up. Dentist check ups, Eye Dr check ups.

4. Get copies of the finacial information: how much he makes, does he have a 401 account for retirement. How much is in savings if any. Get a list of all your bills.

5. Get a credit report so you know where to start with that.

6. Get copies of house papers if you are buying.

7. Get copies of car insurance info.

8. Go to Dr. or hospital if he phyically harms you. Don't give excues as to what happend tell them what he has done.

9. Make a jounal of the abuseive events and pictures if you can. (it will be your word aginst his but it will help make him look bad if you have to go to court.

When I left my husband I got a list of things a women should do but can't remember what they are and can't find it. If I come up with more info I will let you know. If you want it.

Hope this helps.
Let me know if an ear will help I will do what I can. [email protected]____.com

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J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi V.,
I have not gone through this, but I do know you need to get a lawyer, ASAP. I'm not sure were your located but my mom had a great lawyer when she devorced my dad 23 years ago. His name is Byron Cohen he did have an office in Clayton. Good luck and if you need help or anything else you can e-mail me [email protected]____.com, I would be glad to help you if I can. Just let me know. I will be praying for you.
J.

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M.E.

answers from St. Louis on

First: Get an attorney and follow their advice to the T.
Second: Decide if you are leaving the home or if you expect your husband to leave. If you are leaving, take everything you want all at one time. Possession is 9 10th's of the law, seriously. I don't have experience at asking him to leave...so your attorney will have to advise you.

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E.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Well the first thing to do would be to go to a lawyer. Depending on what all you two have together it could be easy or not easy. I know that you can also file for a divorce on line but am not sure how, I had a friend that did it this way but both spouses wanted out so it worked for them. Most lawyers will want a retainer fee and them you have to pay a filing fee. If he is locking you in closets I would kick him out - that is considered abusive and he better not be hurting those kids either. You can always call your local Family Support Division if you need help.

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M.C.

answers from St. Louis on

First you need to make sure that if you are ready for this that you can take care of your self and your children. Call or go to your local courthouse or police station and get free advice. At first take only what you need. If you want the house you have to understand that he will know where you live and what you do at all times. It might be wise for you and kids to leave while he is at work, but you need to make sure that when you go, you have money, and the things that you will need. If they are not his children then you shouldn't have any problems in that area of the divorce. He sounds like he does need help and you need to get out before he hurts you or your children. Good luck and be STRONG, you can do this just always remember that you are doing this for your children and to keep them safe.

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J.K.

answers from St. Louis on

I do not know about divorce. I am going to suggest counseling for you and your kids. This sounds like a toxic environment. Counseling does not have to cost call you church or the local catholic church and as for family help. Catholic or not the St. Louis area has free or sliding scale services.
Good luck and I pray the best for your family.

C.B.

answers from Kansas City on

yellow pages and the internet! try researching divorces online (google "divorce steps", or "how do i get a divorce?" on ask.com) to get an idea of what will be going on. go through the yellow pages (there's a HUGE lawyer section in most of them) some will say "family law" and lots do have free first consultations. definitely let them know your budget. glad to hear they're not his kids (hate to say that). but make sure to get everything including the kids, in black and white. take care of YOU (and your babies). good luck. OH also i would look for (either internet or yellow pages) womens shelters/organizations that can give you advice or possibly some other kind of help. at the very least i'm sure you could find someone to talk you through it. wish i could give more advice, but be strong. you can do this and you know you can, if it's for your kids.

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J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

V.,
Get out of the house with your kids immediately. If he is "locking you up" anywhere, that is un-human. Not normal. He is torturing you and you are allowing your kids to witness this. They are learning that if mom puts up with this, then it must be normal. If you have family, go there. Do not tell him, just go and DO NOT let him know where you are. Go to a shelter if you have to. Call any church and they will recommend some place for you and your children. You may not be alive at the rate he is going for much longer. You must stop it now or your children will be left with no one. Think of them and them only. Just get them out of that horrible situation what ever you have to do. He may try to track you down so be careful when and how you do it. Worry about the divorce later after you are out of his life. Call the police even if he breathes on you wrong to at least get a report. Go to the court house and get an exparte (he can't come within so many feet of you or your children) Make sure you tell them he is locking you up and anything else he is doing. Write any time if you need to talk.
J.

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M.D.

answers from St. Louis on

I agree with what the others are saying. Quietly start getting your ducks in a row so you can make a positive change in your and your kids' lives. If you're not sure where to start looking for a divorce attorney, ask people you TRUST, that you know won't let anything slip to your husband. You might also call the Greene County Circuit Clerk's office. They may have a list of attorneys that will help women in abusive situations (and yours sounds like it's headed that way if it's not already there) on a pro bono basis.

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C.O.

answers from St. Louis on

If you really want out, Ask someone who is divorced if they would recommend their lawyer. If you don't know anyone else that's divorced, look in the phone book choose a lawyer, call them, ask IF they handle divorce cases, what their hourly rates are AND if they would be willing to wait for payment after the divorce is final and make it part of the agreement to have them hold your husband responsible financially. Keep your meeting, answer their questions, fill out the necessary paperwork, pay a retainer fee and ask them to file the necessary paperwork to proceed with the divorce. Get as much info as possible,and be sure you feel comfortable with the lawyer and that you believe they will do a good job for you.

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C.C.

answers from St. Louis on

You need to hire a good divorce attorney first of all. They can help you with all of your needs. To find a good one you need to contact the state bar and they can connect you with an attorney that will take care of you and make things easier. You definitely need to get out as soon as you can, your husband sounds like a psycho.

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A.S.

answers from St. Louis on

The first thing to do is call a battered women's shelter or hotline, since he is clearly abusive if he is locking you in closets! They will be able to tell you where to go to get legal help. Also, if you call any divorce lawyer listed in the phone book, usually they can tell you where to call even if they aren't able to help you.
Good luck. You'll be in my prayers.
A.

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K.M.

answers from Springfield on

I think that I would start by leaving. Having never been in the situation though I know sometimes it is easier said than done. I do know that you need to stay strong though. My prayers are with you.

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P.M.

answers from St. Louis on

first you have to go see a good lawyerand they can seeyou on the first vist free and tell him or her, what is hapening and they can tell you what to do and where to go.i hope this will help you some

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K.C.

answers from St. Louis on

It sounds like a very abusive relationship...get out for the sake of you and your children. I was married for a couple of years...we did not have children together but he was very emotionally abusive. I am so glad I left. Do you have somewhere to go?

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C.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Sounds like you need to just do it. If he won't move out then you should move out. Maybe talk to a lawyer on what your rights are and what is avilable to you.

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A.V.

answers from Columbia on

Start by contacting a local divorce attorney. My divorce only cost me $750 and he took a payment arrangement. Also, it sounds as if your husband may be a little abusive. Mention that to the attorney and he may be able to point you in the direction of assistance. Not anyone who will call the police, just people who are there to help you. Honey, you have to get a grip on this. If he won't go to counseling with you, do go alone. It will help. If he's locking you in a closet now, who knows what he is capable of.

Good luck!!

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C.R.

answers from St. Louis on

Find a lawyer by asking around to find one who will work quickly for you. It's better to get a referral from someone you know. If you don't know anyone who has used one than ask your church or a church near you. Maybe before you ask him for the divorce give him one more chance to go to a counselor. If he refuses then let him know that if he doesn't want to make you and your family happy then you have to separate and get a divorce because you are all miserable. Oh, before even that, make sure that most of your most prescious posessions are moved out of the house. You never know how people deal with rejection. Good luck and I'll pray for you. Hope things go smoothly as they can.
C.

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S.A.

answers from Kansas City on

Velda, my heart goes out to you. I know what you are feeling...been there and done that! When I finally got enough, I changed the locks (he moved into my house)! and went on with my life. He was obviously a blessing blocker, because I am very blessed now. I filed for divorce 6 months after I put him out. My lawyer was, Mallard Aldridge...he charges by the case, not the hour! Here is the number....###-###-####. Good Luck, and if need to ask any questions or talk, here is my email [email protected]____.com.

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J.N.

answers from Kansas City on

V.,

Depending on your finances I would go see a lawyer or contact social services. If there is anyone you know who has gone through a divorce recently you might contact them and ask how they went about doing it. I'm sorry I'm not much help, I've never been in your position.

I am concerned about the closet incident. That type of behavior could indicate your relationship is starting to get dangerous for you and your kids. You might consider going to the police to get the incident on record as well as any other abusive behavior. Locking a claustrophobic in a closet would be considered mental cruelty at the very least.

Take Care,

J. N.

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S.M.

answers from St. Louis on

What the H are you doing? Get out of there NOW! You are close to the Women's Center in Carbondale or another facility near you....he is abusive and enjoying it-you are in trouble and he will get worse! Get out then get the help you need-be sure to take all your important papers with you as once you are out he might even burn the house down---I am serious--don't wait till you and the kids are hurt. Go girl while you still can move. Everything is replacable but your health and the kids--so what are you doing reading this GO...

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J.R.

answers from Lafayette on

sounds like a pretty sick man, you're miserable, kids are miserable, hes doing hateful things and all of this makes him happy? I guess where to start depends on how you want to go about it, pack you and the kids up and go home till things are settled....or pack HIM up and tell him enough is enough, see ya. For the actual filing, family law attourney is the best place to start.

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K.C.

answers from St. Louis on

First of all are you in church and do you believe in prayer? The reason I asked is because you said that he is happy and everyone else is miserable and I have had experience with this type of marriage but if you love him try praying and asking God for directions in your marriage. If you need to talk to me personally let me know and we can exchange emails.

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R.Y.

answers from St. Louis on

Don't give up. I will keep you in my prayers. May God bless you and your family. I commend you for trying to get in to counseling. You have to do everything you can. If you are in an abusive situation get yourself and your kids out of the house and get some help for YOU. Take care and have hope.

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K.P.

answers from St. Louis on

Find a lawyer in your area that only charges for paperwork on a uncontested divorce, mine cost 833.00 when all others wanted 2500.00 for an uncontested one,
Even though he may contest to it and if he does he has to get his own lawyer. But if he doesn't contest you got your divorce cheaper.
After you get your lawyer get a restraining order and have him removed from the property.
Have the officers give him the papers when they are escorting him out.
And if you say you are done, then be done and dont talk to him again, for any reason.

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E.L.

answers from Kansas City on

Dear want a divorce, I would start by finding myself some help with organizations like Catholic Charities or something similar that can assist with counseling for yourself, even if your husband does not want to go to get a 3rd party perspective on the family situation and they will also assist in pointing you to the right direction with other organizations to help you and the children. Give it a try - I will pray for you and your family. E.

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J.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi V.,
I've never been divorced and don't know a whole lot about these types of things, but I believe the first step is to go to the court house and file a petition. There's usually someone there who you can ask and they'll help guide you through the process and answer your questions. Another thing is usually you don't want to be in the same home as the person you're trying to divorce. I'd suggest that if it's your house then you need to inform him that he needs to find some place else to live and give him a certain amount of days. If you're afraid for your family tell him you're going away for so many days he needs to be out by the time you get back or have an officer come and assist if need be. Or if it's not your house then just pack your things and go. I've heard of various methods others have used, I don't know what your situation is so I can't really help you know how to handle that aspect very well.
I wish you luck!

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T.R.

answers from Lawrence on

V.,
My divorce was final in January. I know how you feel. I too did not know where to start, but knew that I wanted out! First step-since you have children, I would suggest you find an attorney and file a petition for divorce along with a temporary order getting him out of the marital home for now-also helps with finances any debt he accumulates after that can be argued as his responsibility and vice versa. This buys you time and you can work out the details of the property settlement and all later. Ask friends, co-workers or family members if you feel comfortable about referrals for a good divorce attorney. Legal aide for you county is also a good place to start. If you really feel it is time, file the petition now...you can always stop things down the road if you change your mind later.
I was seperated for an entire year before I filed the petition because I couldn't find a decent attorney that would explain the process to me. I have a 18 month old with my ex and ended up going 1 year and 1/2 with no support because I didn't know how easy the process for filing actually was. I couldn't change the locks on the house until I filed the temp order so my ex could come in and out as he pleased...taking things at his leisure.
I handled the finances in our marriage, so for me it was easy to close all or any joint accounts, especially checking! I already had checking and savings in my name only so it made things alot easier to shuffle and move what I needed to. I really recommend you do what you can to protect yourself financially just before you file the petition! Timing is everything-protect yourself and your children!
Go with your gut!!!! We did counseling for a year and it did nothing! We had been marriend for 7 years and had a 3 month old boy at the time of separation. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I knew the marriage was over and I wanted out!
Get a good attorney, use your support system-friends family whatever that may be, ALWAYS hope for the best-but prepare for the worst and do what is best for you and your children.
Good luck.
T.

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S.H.

answers from Wichita on

Unfortunately I have never been in your situation because I was never married. When I wanted to file for custody of my daughter I called around so many places because I thought I could just fill out the papers and file by myself. They ALL told me to get an attorney. I didnt do it because I cant afford it. Someone suggested Kansas Legal Service. It depends on where you live of course but this place is able to get you an attorney based off your income. Im sure if you search around, your area may have something like that too. I hope this helps some.
--S.

M.A.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi V.,
I think that what you should do, deppends on the situation, is the house yours or his or both? If yours, just kick him out! If his...go to the police and file what he is doing, accuse him of locking you up in the closet and do it now! In case he comes up with something else, you did it first so they know what's going on. You can use that complaint against him for the divorce so he'll have to go and you can keep the house.
The other thing you can do if you think that he is sick but still like him, ask for help, you can still file the claim at the police or they'll tell you where to do it. You can request medical help for him or to go out. He'll have n o choice and you will be actually helping him.
YOu can also check the yellow pages, there are several attorneys that says "no initial consultation" just talk to one without commitment.

My other question would be: Did you marry him? or you are just together? And in both cases how are your properties divided. Again I would file first (I would go to the police and ask there) and talk to a lawyer to see what he recommends. It really deppends on what you want from him, and how are the properties divided.
Hope it helps,
Mariana Abadie
www.MaiaCreations.ecrater.com

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L.R.

answers from Kansas City on

If you want to do it yourself, you could go to Office Max and get a divorce kit. Call a family law attorney. If you are in Kansas or Missouri (KC Metro area), call Jayne Pearman at ###-###-####. There are many steps to a divorce but it will be easier for you since you do not have kids with him.

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C.B.

answers from Kansas City on

If you can move out start there. See if you can stay with family until you find a place. If that doesn't work kick him out.

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M.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Well you could go to the police and say that you do not feel safe and would like him removed from the house and get a lawyer and start filing. If he is in the military I woul dgo to him command and tell them that you are scared and he is locking you in closets just for fun and they should take care of it, just in case I would go to both. If you have some where you can go when you go to his command or police that way you are safe and so are your children. I am not sure how much more I can help but the police is the first thing unless he is in the military. Good Luck and take care
M. W.

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T.P.

answers from St. Louis on

You can go to the clerks office of the Circuit Court. They should be able to give you the papers you need to fill out and some instruction. You don't need an attorney to file. Good luck!

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B.S.

answers from Joplin on

Seek counseling on your own if he will not go with you.

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B.B.

answers from St. Louis on

First of all, V., he is abusing you by locking you in a closet whether or not you have claustrophobia. I am sure this is not the only bad way he is treating you. It doesn't matter whether he is happy or not; you and your children are suffering. You will need a good divorce attorney (probably female) and in your situation I would get referrals and advice from a local domestic violence center. Get out those Yellow Pages and find a center to call! You and your children's emotional health are worth it!

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L.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Hello V.,

You'll need to hire an attorney and they will start the filing process for you. I'd make sure you get a good attorney in case he goes and get's one too. Good Luck!

I went through a divorce with a crappy attorney and then my ex decided to hire his own and dragged out the whole process an extra year. I hope that your will go much smoother than mine did. I wish you the best of luck.

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Y.B.

answers from Kansas City on

You can contact legal aide & they should be able to point you in the right direction. You can also look in the yellow pages (phone book) & find divorce attorneys. You & your children may end up needing counseling as well...try your or a local church. I'm sorry that you have to go through this but know that there's help out here. Sometimes you can call hospital's & they can help you too....I hope that your situation isn't abusive & IF it is get help & get out...there's PLENTY of places you can go with your children. Good luck to you & God Bless!

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K.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I would say the first step is to get you and your children OUT!!! Find a friend or family memeber that will put you up for a while so you can find a lawyer. It is not healthy for anyone in that situation to stay in it. I know any adxice you get is going to be easier said than done, but I have been watching my best friend struggle with some of the same issues and it really is hard on everyone to watch the fighting. Honestly, I really think the first step for you would be to leave him. Maybe after a separation you will both have a more clear picture of the next step from there.

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M.M.

answers from St. Louis on

You need to see an attorney that does divorce/family law. Even if the children are yours, you still have property to divide and possibly alimony/spousal support to address. If you think you might not be able to afford an attorney, there are numerous organizations that specialize in helping women in your situation. You might try calling Legal Aid of St. Louis. If they can't help, they'll be able to tell you who to call. If you think your husband might be or is abusive, you might want to prepare yourself & your children for a stay in a safe home. The police can help you with this process as well. If you can afford counseling, do it. Divorce is a very tramatic thing to go through & counseling might help you deal with certain emotions and problems you might not expect to have. I am not a divorce attorney & I have not been through a divorce; this is advice from someone who went through law school & has friends who do this type of work (in Ohio, not Missouri). Good luck.

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S.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I have never been married but I do know that you can go to your local court house and get the divorce packet and complete it yourself. Being that the kids do not belong to the both of you that should cut down on the hassle of getting the divorce. I have had a couple of friends that have gone through this process and they are now happily divorced. I understand you not wanting to stay in a marriage where you are unhappy and being locked in a closet is just crazy. I just hope you are able to get out before anything drastic happens and you and your children are safe.

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J.T.

answers from St. Louis on

Sorry to hear of your situation. I guess the first thing to do is get yo uand the kids out of the house. They don't need to be subjected to that kind of behovior. Then pick your lawyer and serve him. Good luck to you.

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P.V.

answers from Kansas City on

Well, first you need to figure out why it is that you want a divorce. Is it something you two can actually work out if you get him to go to counsling? If so, tell him that you want to work some things out with him, and that even though he may be happy, you arent. Let him know that if he doesnt go to counsling with you, than you will file for divorce. If he still refuses counsle, than file. Why do your children resent him. IN alot of cases it is because of the other parent. My son refused to like his biological father because of me, he sensed that i didn't like him. Kids pick up on those feeling of yours. Yourere their mother and they want you to be happy. You deserve to be. So chances are that if you do get counsle and work it out, the children will become okay again with him. ANyways, i hope this helps. Good luck. Be strong and be consistant.

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S.P.

answers from St. Louis on

I have not had to go through a divorce but many of my friends have. It sounds like everyone has told you already to see a lawyer and check the internet. I was at the library the other day and saw a lady checking out a book about "How To Go About Getting A Divorce"--maybe that would help. You only have one life to live and you and you're kids don't deserve to be miserable. Best of luck to you and I will keep you in my prayers.

S.

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R.K.

answers from St. Louis on

I would start with social services, Lutheran Family Services, or your nearest women's help center. You need to get with people who understand the dynamics of your situation and know how you can protect yourself. If he has locked you in a closet, no telling what he will do next to you or your children. I have heard that when an abusive husband or boyfriend finds out his wife/girlfriend is planning to leave him, that's when things get ugly. He is likely to exercise control over you, threaten you, and make you too scared to leave him. Your first duty is to protect your children and yourself. You children should not see their mother treated that way. As scary as this is, what you have on your side is a resolve that you want out. Lots of women in your situation (I have a friend who went through this) are still holding out hope that things will work out, which adds confusion to a difficult situation. You seem to have a clear head and know exactly what you want, no question about it. That resolve will help you be strong and not do things that make matters more difficult.

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M.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Be Strong! I feel your pain. You need to be strong and leave the house with your children. Move in with your friends or parents temporarily..someone will help you.

I was in a bad relationship for more than 20 years. I finally found the strength, through a lifelong friend of mine to leave. He was my angel. The situation was horrible for awhile. He tired to make the kids (they were older 24, 21 and 18) take sides and was acted very immature. I just wanted out with my fair share and some dignity. Turns out he was only worried about his money.

Get a good attorney. Many attorneys will let you bill their services or ask that the respondent pay for them.

When you leave, take eveything you want with you. If you don't, you can still petition to get it later...but sometimes things disappear....trust me.

As it turns out, I am at peace now and a much happier and confident women. My children love me and we have a great mother/child relationghship. He still has major anger problems and can't be in the same room with me...but that is his problem. My kids know the reasons that I left and they respect me for it even though in the beginning it was difficult for them.

It will not be fun nor easy, but it will get better. Many people told me that it would get better, but at that point in my life..I wasn't sure that it would. IT DOES GET BETTER.

Find your strength..be strong..do this for yourself and your children, you all deserve a better life. You will be a much happier and stronger women for doing it. Your children will be stronger and respect youknow that you should not be treated this way nor treat a person with disrepect.

God be with you! You can do it! I did.
I'm here for you.
M.

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

you can go the the county courthouse and tell them you want to file for divorce. you don't need a lawyer unless he decides to fight you on a bunch of stuff. even at that...most are pretty good at working with you on payment plans BUT...if you want the house in the end...you CAN NOT leave or you will not get it. like someone stated before...if you file, then you can have him escorted out of the house or if you don't want the house, then you should find some family or friends or even a shelter to stay. once you file...all the work is in the county (or lawyer if you get one.) good luck to you and please be careful and safe!!! watch out for the kids cuz i'm afraid they are next!!!! please keep in touch with us moms here and let us know how things go...you'll be ok!!! :)

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A.B.

answers from Lawrence on

You'll need to speak with a divorce lawyer. Sometimes they will sit down and do a free initial consultation. Make sure you are clear about what you want and that you feel like your lawyer will be your advocate. You can find a lawyer in the yellowpages or online.

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K.B.

answers from Springfield on

Hi V.,
I am sorry that you are going thru this.
first off I would LEAVE that house with your children.
Then go talk to a attorney.
As a Mother you need to protect the kids.
He is locking you in a closet what could be next?
if you don't have a "safe house" in your town or City then go to bigger City that does have one.
Good Luck to you!

K..

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J.S.

answers from Springfield on

you can call around to the womens shelters. you do need to get out before things get worse.you can call the Carol Jones Recovery center for women. they can give you the numbers and organizations that might be able to help you.
Good Luck and God be with You and keep your safe.

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V.A.

answers from St. Louis on

I'm so sorry to hear about what your going through. I just went through a divorce a year ago. I also wanted counseling and he wouldn't go. He was very verbally abusive and got our neighbor pregnant a month after we were seperated. I feel your pain and I'm not going to lie, divorce is a really hard process. My took over a year and it was hell, but I'm so happy I did it. Even though we still have to deal because we have a daughter and he still trys to control me. I do the best to keep the peace and limit contact. If you'd like to talk please feel free to give me a call. I would develop a plan first. Where your going to live, etc and then just do it. I would tell him after you've already found a place, so you can move out right away. I wish you the best.
V.
###-###-####

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L.B.

answers from Wichita on

If you are being locked in a closet...I call that crazy! I would contact a close friend....Safe Homes, Church and get advice on steps to take and locate someone in your area. It definitely sounds like you and your children are NOT in a safe environment. When my sister wanted a divorce, she went to a local law office, spoke to the lawyer and got the ball rolling. Mind you, she had to put down a retainer fee(well I floated her the $) before they do much of anything. I'm praying for safety for you and your kids. If you have a church family, I would start with my Pastor or close friend.

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