When violence or other crimes are part of a divorce situation it is a good idea to involve law enforcement. This does not occur in every divorce or even in most separations but when it does, it is important to let the law take action and let justice run its course rather than resorting to criminal behavior yourself.
Here are some examples of when you may want to involve the police in a divorce situation:
- There is abuse. Physical abuse should never be tolerated, nor should emotional or mental abuse. This does not mean that there may not be some harsh words or screaming during an argument, but if your partner does things like destroy your property or try to goad your friends into fighting with you through constant harassment, you may wish to involve the police. If your former partner ever hits you, threatens you or otherwise assaults you, call the police immediately. People who escalate to violence rarely stop on their own.
- Your children are in danger. This is one of the toughest calls you may ever have to make. A good rule of thumb is: listen to your kids. While children have been known to try to sneak their parents back together by turning on a stepparent or boyfriend or girlfriend, it is rare for a child to report specific abuse unless it is true. If you believe your children are subjected to physical or sexual abuse when they are with the other parent, contact the police immediately.
- There is theft. If you believe that your partner has stolen from you, it is important to document the theft. Call the police and make a report if your home has been broken into, someone has stolen items from you or you are missing money from your bank account. Be sure to remove your former spouse from any accounts you shared jointly as soon as possible in order to minimize the chances that you will be the victim of financial theft.
It is hard to know when to let things go and when to involve the police. You may need the help and guidance of a knowledgeable attorney throughout your divorce to help you make the right decisions. The Men’s Legal Center is ready to help you with all of your issues including those that may involve the police.