Morning Friends,

I am in Florida – not so sunny today but a whole lot better than freezing Pennsylvania. I will be speaking in Sarasota on Friday evening and Saturday morning on Destructive Relationships. Come join us if you can.

Since I am trying to do a bit of R & R, I chose today’s question specifically for this week so that you all can answer it.

Today’s Question: I have been so blessed by your new book. I see my marriage described. I am looking at filing for legal separation. But I am shocked at how much it costs. I have no money available to me as I have been a stay at home mom for 16 years.

Finances are the main area my husband manipulates, threatens and controls in. How do other women get separated or file for divorce when they have no money of their own? The lawyer I have been referred to is very good and experienced as my case could be complicated. I am so stressed by this money thing. $5000 just to retain him! Any ideas?

Answer: One of the things I continue to be distressed at is the number of women who see that they are in a very bad marriage from year one yet don’t plan or prepare for a day in the future where they might have to support themselves, pay for a lawyer, or take care of their children.

Please don’t misunderstand. Yes, there are controlling husbands, kids that need to be cared for and life that keeps us crazy busy, but it’s important to think of yourself and acknowledge the fearful realities that might be in your future.

Therefore, in today’s blog, I want to invite the women who have “been there” to answer this woman’s question. How did you find the money to pay for legal expenses and/or go forward when you had no personal resources?

Secondly, there are those of you who did recognize a need to think ahead to the future. For our sisters who still may be living in a bit of denial, what steps did you take to prepare for the possibility that your marriage may not make it? Share your wisdom and even some of your mistakes.

I think we can help this woman move forward with your collective wisdom, tips, and even mistakes to avoid.

I love you guys. Thanks for helping this woman out today.

 

62 Comments

  1. Sherri on January 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I am interested in hearing some answers to this question.

    • Leslie Vernick on January 29, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Sherri – I think you’re not alone. One of the reasons I put this question up there is women have been so creative and resourceful at finding ways to get strong and get safe that I wanted you to know that this “helpless” feeling is temporary and you do have a brain and God will help you find a way as long as you don’t believe the lie that you “can’t’.

      • Marcia on May 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm

        I am in the same situation, but a little further down the road. I filed a PPO. My husband fought it and got it dropped. The judge did extend it for another 3 weeks to give me time to file. Since I am low income, I was able to file for free at the court. I am not using a lawyer and neither is the husband. I have been a stay at home mother for 18 years. So, I had to look for something. I have a job at a temp agency and am still applying for full time jobs. Legal Aid will help in abuse situations. You will also get alimony and child support. There is always food stamps and welfare until you find something more permanent. I am trusting God. He wants my kids safe and sane (me too). So, I know that He will provide.

    • Wendy on February 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      My life changed forever when my then husband, wouldn’t let me out of the house for a break from him and his demanding ways! I had a amazing angel intervene.. Called a “off duty policeman” who just happened to be in his front yard when I was able to grab the door handle and opened it to yell for help!! This is domestic abuse.. You cannot step in front of… Someone trying to leave!! Gods amazing rescue from this destruction was a Restraining Order. (It was only going to be for 14days to legally give me a chance to hear my God and to breath) However, he couldn’t respect the law or my right to ask for space, so he violated it! I had him arrested…. Resources I would encourage are Dept. Of Human
      Resources in your town. (DHS) Also, courthouse, you may qualify thru financial issues for counsel and legal representation!

  2. Peg on January 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    $5000 seems very expensive to me! I have chosen to stay separated and if my spouse chooses to divorce me, I have told him he will pay for the whole nine yards! I do not have money to put toward a divorce. Fortunately, I live in my own house and have no shared assets with him. Is there any way you can get your spouse to pay for the divorce? My attorney told me that a divorce through him would cost $1000 approximately. My spouse has that kind of money but he says he wants to figure out what he wants to do. I am at peace alone and never see or hear from him. It just seems to me that your spouse should have to pay the whole cost since he’s the problem.

  3. kay on January 29, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I am a mother of four young children and having come to the realisation that mine is an abusive marriage I am now working towards being financially independent. It’s a long term plan and God-willing I’ll be in a much better position to run in about 3years with the kids, bar a miracle happening before then. I’ve been married 16years and finally realised I wasn’t crazy less than two years ago.

  4. Brenda on January 29, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    It sounds as though you have no money at your disposal. Your name is on no savings or investment accounts? The rules are very different from state to state. In Michigan or at least here locally there is a free attorney, but they will only help on easy cases. No kids or only adult children, no money to be divided, no house. They walk you through it and you go to court yourself.

    I personally started my own savings account many years ago and have a full time job. If I had money left out of my weekly spending money, it went in the account. If I got a bonus at work, it went in that account. I do online surveys for extra money, that money went in the account. It is amazing how that can add up. It was my responsibility to pay the bills. If he went out and blew money on cigarettes, gambling or other nonsense, I took the same amount out and put it in my personal account. Finance was not an area where there was a problem for me.

    In Michigan, the husband can be ordered to pay for his wife’s attorney if he is controlling all of the assets. Most attorneys are still going to want some form of retainer before getting started. It won’t matter if all of everything you own is in his name alone, you would still get half. You need to find and make copies of any and all accounts for future reference.

    I filed for Legal Separation initially and cost $1500 for the attorney and $150 for the filing fee. Afterwards, I realized reconciliation would never happen so I went back for a divorce. My attorney charged $300 to file that final document and didn’t have to go back to court. Because X, demanded that I get the divorce, he paid half.

    I think a second and even a third opinion from an attorney would be a good idea.

  5. Brenda on January 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    R&R in FL sounds great. Have a wonderful time and stir some conviction for the cause while you are there speaking.

    • Leslie Vernick on January 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      I’m speaking for the cause while here so it’s part R & R and part hard work.

  6. Maria M on January 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Hi there. I hope I can offer some help since I have been there. I filed for divorce 13 months ago and I am on my 2nd lawyer. I retained the first for $1000 and the 2nd for $1200. I did have some money I had saved up because my marriage was going downhill a couple yrs ago so I set apart money “just in case”. I also sold a couple things in my house that I figured I could get back in the future after all this mess had ended. The reason I dropped the 1st lawyer was because he served my husband via regular mail and the papers got lost. It was extremely difficult to talk to him and he never answered my emails. The 2nd one is also hard to communicate with but my biggest issue is that he does not understand emotional abuse, narcissm or how controlling my husband can be, in other words, he has not understood how important the parenting plan has to be spelled out so that I do not continue to be controlled by him years after we divorce. The best resource I have found is in the support group I go to for abused women. I have heard it all, taken notes and have especially talked to the women who are doing well now after their divorce and asked them for their lawyer information. This support group also told me that mostly all courthouses have advocates for abused women. I went to one and she was great, gave me all types of resources and even ended up with free therapy. She told me about free legal aid but I will tell you there is a long waiting line in my area in Florida. Family lawyers usually consult with you for free (about a 30 min initial consult), so I consulted about 5 different ones and asked them focused and direct questions about my main concerns. Another idea I used was to start all the paperwork myself. After my consults and after reading my state’s family law (statute) on divorce, I had a clear idea on what to do first and that is what I did, without the need to call a lawyer who would charge me $250 an hour to turn in a document in the courthouse. I also read a local supermarkets magazine on divorce that gave me a lot of specific info. Once the courthouse knows you have a lawyer and his name is filed in the court system as your representative, the courthouse will only give specific info to your lawyer and again that will cost you. So, if you can do as much as you can first, then do it and save the lawyer for the mediation, you will need him there! About mediation, there are retired lawyers and judges who work as mediators and prepare parenting plans. I used one for $80/hour and she was great. She gave me the ideas and info I needed to complete the plan (another thing lawyers charge you for per the hour) Lastly, I also borrowed money from a family member whom I pay “religiously” every month (interest free and about $50 a month). One last word of advice, if you are going to pay a lawyer–make sure he/she understands who he is against and has experience with the type your husband is. That might save you from having to pay a 2nd or 3rd lawyer along the way.

    • Leslie Vernick on January 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

      • Vikki on January 29, 2014 at 6:33 pm

        THAT was awesome!

  7. Elizabeth on January 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Enjoy your R & R. You deserve it. I am so encouraged with your ministry to those of us desiring to “live well” in or out of a destructive marriage. Thank you with many prayers and blessings,
    Elizabeth

    • Leslie Vernick on January 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks.

  8. Kathy on January 29, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Reading this question felt like a page out of my life! I too am married to a very financially controlling man who is our sole provider while I stay at home with 4 kids. They are old enough now to be a little more independent and God brought me far enough on my healing journey that I had courage to act on Leslie’s teaching on destructive marriage. I have filed for separation and he will be moving out in the next few weeks. I say that so you know that it’s not easy but it is possible – and you need to be patient with yourself while you’re getting strong enough to do what you need to do.

    Here’s how it worked for me. I ignored every red flag while thinking that God was going to send a counselor or a sermon series or whatever to convict my husband of his sinful sense of entitlement and controlling ways. I now understand that I was waiting for God to do something that I thought He should do rather than stand up to sin and do something for myself and my kids.

    The first time my husband shut me out of the joint account was years ago while I was still in denial about what a loving wife should put up with and I must have grovelled in just the right way to please him because he put me back on the account. I determined at that point that I would never feel that helpless again so I went to an all cash household management system and squirreled away “extra” dollars for years. I also opened up a credit card in my own name.

    When he shut me out of the joint account again 14 months ago, I was ready with some funds of my own. I also had the newfound strength of mind and self respect to do a bit of research rather than just take his word for it. I found out that in my state it takes two signatures to open up a joint account but only one person to close it. Ridiculous! If your situation is tenuous, please open an account of your own at a different bank even if all you have is ten dollars right now. That small step will give you a feeling of healthy empowerment that you can use to remind yourself that you have options.

    I still had to borrow the lawyer’s retainer from a relative but because I was no longer living an isolated life where I didn’t talk about my reality, I had people standing in line to help me. If there’s one thing I learned is that living in silence is unhealthy. Your husband will be ticked off that you’ve shared and accuse you of going behind his back but you will be on your way to getting the support you need and finding your sanity. It’s worth it.

    What I also did when I knew I was ready to separate was use our household income amount to apply for another credit card that didn’t have interest for 12 months. Because we no longer had a joint account that the credit bureau could check, this involved getting copies of our tax return to prove we had filed jointly in the past. You can do this for free. Once I was ready to file, I had a little bit of cushion that wouldn’t cost me in interest. I do not like using credit cards but it’s only short term and gave me great peace of mind while navigating the creative ways my husband controlled the finances and the capricious ways he chose to reimburse me for household expenses.

    I do have some income from being self-employed but because he designed a spread sheet on which he recorded the amounts he reimbursed me for groceries and other household expenses, he subtracted my income from the amount he needed to reimburse me essentially taking my income away. Instead of getting mad about that in useless ways, I used my frustration to remind me that I was doing the right thing to separate.

    I also had to learn that it doesn’t matter whether your husband had a bad childhood or has Asperger’s or WHATEVER I used to think was the cause of the issues. If he is not actively seeking change, it is not your job to stick around until he stops hurting you. It has taken me over 20 years to say this out loud. Cut your losses and move on.

    And know that you are not alone. Once I had a few people in my corner who knew my needs, I was blown away by the number of ways God wanted to provide for me. He will not fail you!

    • Emily on January 31, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Wow, Kathy..that is great advice. My husband does have Asperger’s and childhood issues, and uses that as an excuse. I am still living in the land of indecision..not sure what to do, but I recently contacted a women’s shelter and they sent me a certificate for two hours of legal advice for free..I wrote down a list of my questions first, since my time is limited. But it is a start!

    • Mary on March 22, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      “I ignored every red flag while thinking that God was going to send a counselor or a sermon series or whatever to convict my husband of his sinful sense of entitlement and controlling ways.”

      This spoke volumes to me. I am not sure that we are going to separate, but we have already been through counseling with a counselor and a pastor, and we’re back where we where 3 years ago… I discovered his porn addiction again on Monday, and while it bothers me, it is the lying that bothers me more.

      My husband had an awful childhood, and I also think of it to help increase my compassion for him.

  9. Bonnie on January 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I knew things were going downhill about 3 years ago. I was/am a stay at home mom who also home schools. I opened up a checking account in my name only and told my husband that I wanted to build credit in my name in case her were to pass away(a friend of mine had troubling getting loans when her husband passed since she had no income and no credit in her name). I put $500 in there and just set it aside and I don’t touch that account.

    Then, I started just taking 20 here, 10 there, 20 here, etc over the past few years. I stopped buying certain things or would put a 20 away when I saved that much using coupons at the store, etc. It’s taken me 2 years but I know have over $4000 put away and I have my close friends keeping the money in their safes. I do not want the money tracked or shown as an asset in case I need to get away quickly.

    I also opened up a few credit cards in my name only. I use them every so often but it’s helped to build my credit. I met with a lawyer a few months ago and her fee was $4500 flat rate for a divorce and custody case and then another $3000 if the case went to court. I live in AZ and divorces are very expensive here.

    Personally, I haven’t left yet mainly because I haven’t worked in 15 years and I want to continue homeschooling my son through as much high school as we can. My husband’s abusiveness has gotten much better over the past few months and I can tolerate living with him, but I have that plan B going just in case things take a turn for the worse. Of course, he’s stopped wearing his wedding ring recently, so I know I need to be prepared in case he is the one who decides to jump ship. I guess my point is: preparation is key, as hard as it is to think like that, it’s so important to think ahead and figure out some options.

  10. Vikki on January 29, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    So! Here’s my two cents: (I was a stay at home mom and still am 🙂 )

    Before you say anything about separation, have your ducks in a row.

    — If you name is on the bank accounts, and you have access to them, take half. It’s yours already. Sometimes we need to see what’s “ours” singular vs. “ours” plural.

    — If you have absolutely no money, try the following:
    — use your debit card and get cash back for groceries.
    — do “breakfast night” for dinner once a week and pocket the $10 you would have used on groceries. EVERY week.
    — Ask for additional grocery money and pocket it.

    We had a strict budget – everything written down (well, that I spent). So, I wrote down some things as if I spent it and just stashed it).

    Ask for money for your bday– tell everyone you’re trying to get money together to save for a weekend away or a retreat or anything!!!!! (THAT’s a killer idea because you have bday AND Xmas!)

    You don’t have to spend tens thousands of dollars on an atty. I once saw that women go to the expensive ones because they think they’re better, but not necessarily.
    I thought the suggestions above were awesome!

    I declined an attorney who said, “You’re so cute, you won’t need alimony, you’ll be married within the year.”

    If you have any extra money that you can come up with,
    go to an attorney to block them from your attorney. Often $300 to sit with a pitbull attorney everyone hates will block them from going against you because now it’s a conflict of interests – and you don’t even have to hire them.

    What I did: stashed money for several years doing the above. I needed a few years to clarify what was going on, but knew I needed money behind me since I stayed at home. When I got up to 5K, I pulled the trigger, took half of our accounts and went to 5 attorneys to find one who seemed like they could handle it.
    Initial fee – $250.
    Retainer – $1000.
    Final cost – $2500.
    Hubby having to pay half – priceless.

    I personally feel we need to STOP SAYING WE CAN’T, WE HAVE NO RESOURCES, ETC.
    START SAYING:
    I’LL FIGURE THIS OUT.
    GOD, PLEASE SHOW ME NEXT STEPS.
    I WILL HIT SOME BUMPS BUT I’LL JUST LEARN.
    I CAN LEARN.
    I’M A FREAKING WARRIOR AND I’LL FIGURE THIS OUT.

    and believe beyond belief that it will come together – some way, some how. Because NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING is worth our lives, bodies, children breaking down by living with what we live with.
    Nothing.

    And God will show up and one day you will share your story with us. It will be your own and it will be a miracle.

    Sending love, hugs, and the truth that YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!
    – Vikki

  11. Vikki on January 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    One more thing….
    There are a few levels to consider
    Level 1 – Get the heck out. Stay with friends, go to mediators, ask family for help. Have copies of all birth certificates.(Free).

    Level 2 – Buy time. Get money together. Protect your kids – send them to sleepovers, play his game, stash moolah. all your bills (trust me, you need this), and all investments accounts (like when the statements come in the mail, copy everything.)

    Level 3 – Buy a bit more time – Stash money, but pay a few bills ahead of time just to get ahead. Gather a few personal things you absolutely love and bring them to a friend’s in a box to hide. (My sister in law listened to me and got out 5 boxes of personal belongings and when her hubby flipped and cleaned out the house, it was all she had).

    Level 4 – All of the above, but more money stashed, more stuff hidden, and a few credit cards in your own name. Consider getting a part time job if he’s okay with it, or consider changing your car (take him up on you getting a better one). Whatever he offers, say YES.

    Just because you see it doesn’t mean you have to jump right now, you can plan, listen to the Lord, ask for help, and watch for confirmations and openings of opportunities. They will come.

    XOXOXO!

    • Emily on January 31, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Great ideas, Vikki 🙂 Thank you..my husband doesn’t give me cash at all..he insists on paying for everything with the cc because you rack up points and get cash back. He flipped out because I wanted to spend extra of my budget (he only gives me half of the child tax benefits each month and it all goes towards homeschooling/kids’ clothing, etc.) on the kids’ birthdays this month. So I used up a lot of food in the cupboards , instead of grocery shopping, so he finally agreed to give me extra $ for cake and balloons. I am not sure how to pocket extra cash without him knowing..but leaving to stay with family for a few months and hopefully I will get more direction…blessings

  12. Dianna on January 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Hi, ladies, I am glad this question came up. I am not where all of you are and have no children. I know this is easier because I do not have children to protect but, I still find it hard to protect, stand up and take care of myself.

    I will not repeat the things already mentioned except to encourage any and everyone to take care of themselves in all ways.

    I would suggest that those that can, try the local agencies that help women and children get help when abuse is the issue. There are many helps, some may be referrals or information to get help.

    There are paralegals who can put a legal separation together, also. IF the two parties can agree on separation details, the process can be much cheaper, civil and less painful

    There are good part and full-time jobs online, some w/ benefits. The computer equipment requirements are not necessarily high tech nor expensive. The Rat Race Rebellion is an online company that is worth checking out. They advertise jobs in many different fields w/ varying wages, hours and locations.

    I am living at my sister’s home for awhile and planning to purchase an economical laptop through her company’s website of perks. I had been helping her through a difficult knee replacement surgery and ended up staying when I found hidden money put into a savings account during several months. I am working on a settlement w/ my husband because he wants the house and car and I want almost nothing from the house & definitely not to live in the country w/ our trust and control issues. I haven’t worked out for years, either; have a broken arm (not because of abuse from him) and need out of a broken house that he will not fix and w/ a person who will not work as a team w/ the finances. There are other issues.

    I am old enough (ugh!) to find subsidized, senior, apt. housing. Will not try to own a car because just paying for shelter, food and utilities will be a challenge until I can get an online or other job w/ pay flowing. I am determined to live in an area where it is easy to walk to many places and on a bus line. In April, I will be eligible to sign up for early social security. There are food pantries, food stamps, thrift shops available & maybe other forms of aid, if I should need them.

    I am trying to make a civil, fair settlement w/ my husband of monthly money to help me get on my own. This is just to fairly compensate for my giving up the house, land, car, appliances, furniture and lawn tools. Yes, he has debt but, he also has a house w/ years of maintenance that ‘we’ did over the marriage. I only want my compensation, minus debt, halved. He has been hedging on the amount but, I am continuing to try to reason w/ him. A simple agreement would be best. I am trying to get honest but creative as to how to make a safe, legal agreement that covers both our interests until the compensation is complete and if one of us dies. I could use any ideas you may have. I am not signing off the house (I am co-owner legally) until the agreement is legal and fair. He also has a separate bank acct. where he puts all his money. His adult daughter is on another checking acct., a separate one, but, I have to have this agreement (financial) be just between us, for she does not like me nor ever has and I cannot trust her, anyway.

    This is where I am. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Leslie, I hope it is warmer in Sarasota than it is two hours north of you in Florida! Yes, I know it is much warmer, w/ no snow than Pennsylvania. I have lots of family in Michigan and Illinois who have kept me ‘briefed’ as to conditions there. I get several daily pics of the snow from my sis & cousin who are snowed in!

    Hope the conference goes well. Wish I could come but, my priorities are different at the moment and I have been getting so much help via your videos, blogs and newsletters.

    So much hope in our Jesus!

    • Mama Martin on February 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Dianna, you have made amazing progress in separating. What strength you have shown!
      I honour your wish to have a simple financial separation from your husband and it looks like it can be straightforward. With my husband, though, he still wants to control and manipulate. He has the mindset that I, as his wife, am ‘one’ with him – meaning that I am an extension of him and will submit, obey, and never even desire anything different than he desires. For me to be separate financially and thus ‘safer’ from him means that I must pursue divorce. He is stalling at every step and a process that could be completed fairly quickly and inexpensively is becoming long and expensive. I desire a degree of safety financially and so have paid and closed joint credit cards and a line of credit. I also made copies of many financial records and since we separated have tracked every penny I have received and spent – with receipts – so that I can show the courts (the files are getting thicker!). Legal financial safety is important to me but cannot be reached until there is nothing left held jointly. To get that, I must divorce and so I will persist.

  13. Debbie on January 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Thank you so much ladies for all of your insights! I have been out of work for a couple of years but have been able to prepare and stash some money away in my own account doing some of the things recommended here.
    I hope to be able to share my “success” story here in the not too distant future. For now I am biding my time in prayer and trying to grow in my relationship with God and heal from the damage of a 30+ year mind-bending, heart-breaking, destructive marriage 🙁
    Blessings to all who share and offer so much encouragement.

  14. Elizabeth on January 29, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Wow, what great ideas from everyone!

    If you have access to $20-50 I would first recommend getting a PO Box secured for at least six months, this way whatever you do next you have a way to receive mail without your abusive husband having access to it. This is one of the first things I did and it has paid off so many times.

    I also agree with everyone else about opening up a checking account in your name, get a debit card but keep it hidden (in your vehicle works best if you are the only one who drives it). You will be amazed how quickly funds can grow when you are being very purposeful in stashing it away and nobody else is coming along and swiping any of it.

    I also want to emphasize the importance of seeking God’s will out, if it is His desire for you to leave He will make it clear and He will always provide for and protect you. Since separating from my abusive husband 8 months ago I have seen this truth over and over again in my life. God told me it was time to leave and I wasn’t very prepared for it, and yet despite being in a pretty scary situation I trusted the Lord and He has not failed me yet. If you feel the Lord is telling you that it is time to leave, be wise and do what you can to provide safety for you and your children, but obey the Lord. He is a much better provider and protector than your husband ever could be, trust me!

    • Caroline on January 30, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      I agree. SO vital to seek The Lord’s will and timing. I was neither prepared financially when I left but felt like the Spirit said “okay, it’s time”. I think that was God’s way of ushering me to a safe place at the right time (my BFF’s hubby had just left on a 10-day business trip) and He knew that if I tried to prepare docs beforehand, I’d probably do it sloppily and my controlling spouse would find out. But I did grab my birth cert and our marriage license, his pay stub, and our most recent tax return. Everything was in our or his name. But after repeated attempts at a local credit union, I was offered a line of credit which I used to retain my attorney. It takes time and intentional moving forward. Praying your guts out. Doing the “next thing” as you gather resources, support, encouragement and help along the way. I can’t stress enough the value of a good, Christian based DV support group. In time, you will gain the strength and wisdom you need to make wise choices for yourself and your future.

    • Emily on February 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Love your words, Elizabeth..lots of wisdom there. <3

  15. Bev on January 29, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Don’t stress about the money. If you really have a good lawyer, he/she will make sure you receive everything you’re entitled to. Use your husband’s credit card to pay for that lawyer. Just copy down the numbers and read it to them over the phone when you go to pay for it.

    Make sure you have copies of your joint assets, such as bank accounts, IRAs, investments, etc. This will be useful if you legally separate, as you are entitled to half of it until you come to some other type of agreement. When we legally separated, half our bank account was mine. I had to open up my own in my name, and half of it was transferred to me. That same bank gave me my first credit card. I used my sister’s address for everything until the dust settled. I filed a change of address with the postal service, and then I went to her house regularly to pick up my mail. When I finally fled, we went to her house for a few weeks until I could sort things out.

    I wish I knew how to find a good lawyer. I had a terrible one, and my divorce did not go well at all. Nevertheless, I now have freedom, sanity, peace, and showers of blessings from God, who is ever-faithful to his children.

    As abused women, we often have forgotten that we should be taking care of ourselves. Relearn how to do that. Get yourself all the help you need, whether it’s a good mental health counselor, doctor, massage therapist, or whatever your needs may be. Then live your life as God intended. In all things, let Him be your guide. I pray that the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will fill your heart tonight and every night hereafter!

  16. Brenda on January 30, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Vikki, Amen. Plan, prepare and pray. I stashed pictures, jewelry, my grandmother’s embroidery, passport, license, copies of financials and cash where I work. It was very safe. It’s only me and the boss here.

  17. Brenda on January 30, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Again, Vikki——AMEN. We are warriors and this lady will be too. I am praying for her, for strength and wisdom and the Spirit to guide her.

  18. Brenda on January 30, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Every woman needs a plan B even if she is not in an abusive relationship.

  19. Brenda on January 30, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Debbie, I will be overjoyed to hear the success story to come.

    Brenda

    • Debbie on January 31, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you Brenda! All these tips have helped so much. God is SO good 🙂

  20. Tammy on January 30, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Reading these makes me realize how much God blessed me. I worked outside the home for 10 years, then stayed home for two years. My husband demanded I go back to work so I got a part time job at my church. I went to a full time job in May of last year. I had to leave in August because of issues with my Grandchildren who I took to their dad three weeks later. On the trip home I got a call asking me to please come back and by the end of August I was back to work full time. That trip was also the beginning of the end of my marriage. I had to finally admit it was not going to get better and God was not going to fix it. My husband demaned I Divorce him and I saw a lawyer the next day, told him my story and lucky for me there was $500 in our joint account. My Lawyer’s sister had been in a similar marriage and did not leave but had a nervous breakdown instead. He knows my financial situation and I will most likely be making payments, buy God helped me and he will help you too. You have to have the courage to move when he opens the door for you to leave.

  21. Emily on January 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I recently contacted a women’s shelter and they sent me a certificate for two hours of legal advice for free..I wrote down a list of my questions first, since my time is limited. But it is a start!

  22. Mama Martin on January 31, 2014 at 12:44 am

    This is tough, tough, tough and one of the important ways the church can support a woman trying to flee abuse is by giving wise financial support.
    I started with my own PO box for mail, my own bank account, and a cell phone – all without my husband’s knowledge – paid by scrimping and hiding what little money I had. The abuse was escalating because I wasn’t responding so much as a victim and he reacted. I left before I was financially ready, yet the timing was perfect.
    My first lawyer told me over the phone 25 months ago that I was entitled to half the assets so to take $20k for myself and record what I did with every penny. I did and am so thankful since I have not yet received a penny from my husband and my legal costs to date have been $18k. Not sure if we are yet half-way through the divorce process. Divorce is the only way for the courts here to be involved in separating the finances and property and I will not receive anything unless the courts are involved.
    I will say that God has provided – He has been faithful. There is no other way to explain the events of the last two years. I have credentials and good skills, but being out of the work force for over 20 years has made it difficult to return. I have worked up to five part-time jobs at once but the co-ordination of the hours was miraculous. A vehicle was there when I needed it – and then a second when the first had to be ‘retired’. Because I was a stay-at-home mom, I was not able to get a credit card but later one was given to me as a ‘promotional offer’ even though I still did not qualify. There were no major medical expenses while I did not have medical coverage. The support from family and my church was tangible (I was offered money and knew if I was desperate, I could get the financial support I might need.) Currently I have full-time work that is allowing me to meet my financial commitments.
    Again, I will say that God provided as I needed. There were times when I wondered (and still do!) and it is still very month to month, but God has been faithful.

  23. Debbie on February 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Mama Martin you are so right on. God is faithful in these situations if we just see what He is doing. I began to realize a couple of years ago that things weren’t right. The verbal and emotional attacks were very stressful. A year and a half ago I started having heart problems. First I had to have a stent put in. A year and a half later I found myself having open heart surgery. After this surgery I was given a couple months of recovery and then it all started again. I had to make a choice. Life or death. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. I had not worked for five years and was not on any of our assets. My advice goes along with all the others. Save what you can where you can. I had not done that. I was fortunate that my children saw what was happening to my health because of the abuse and immediately provided funds necessary to leave, put a roof over my head and hire legal counsel. It has been hard financially. Extremely hard. I am still recovering from my heart surgery and unable to work. But in the midst of all of this I see God’s faithfulness. I am healing in all ways and gaining a new respect for who I am in God’s eyes. That to me is the most important part of all of this.

    Leave if you must. Your health and “heart” aren’t built for the pain. That is not God’s plan. Can there be a miracle in the relationship – absolutely! But only God can do that. Until then TAKE CARE OF YOU!

  24. Elizabeth on February 4, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I am right in the middle of this right now….I will share what I have done and learned.

    I have been married 15 years in March and it has consistently been abusive and toxic. I took the blame for a LONG time and even believed we could work it out after his cheating twice and went to counseling for over a year.

    So, New Year’s Day, I decided it was time to put the pedal to the metal. I initially began by deciding to move in with my parents. I talked to them. They ok’d everything. I went to my husband and told him to figure out how much he would pay in child support. We looked up a calculator together and got $1400 (we have 5 children). I’m not inserting his span of emotions and comments but they are many and a vast array….it’s too much. He wasn’t ok with me leaving but understood at the same time….this is a man that has gone to church the entire time we’ve been married. It’s like he knows the truth, but refuses to let go of control, treat me with dignity, and when angry, let’s all biblical guidelines go.

    So, he agreed to the 1400. I started applying for jobs and enrolled my kids in the schools near my parents’ house. I still had to fill out one form for their Monday start date.

    Well…..my dad ended up doing a couple things that made me halt that process. He found my almost fourteen year old a job without asking me and then another situation where he wanted to override my husband’s wishes on a certain issue with my oldest son. Granted, my husband and I have issues, but I felt my dad was stepping over boundaries and wasn’t going to stop. SO!

    I had previously been texting and calling friends asking if they knew of cheap rentals in areas I wouldn’t mind putting my kids in school (because they are my first priority always). I would have rented a trailer or even packed us all in a 2 bedroom house. Through that, I found out that a couple of my friends work for a management company over low-income apartments. I had a stereotype in my head of “low-income housing” and couldn’t imagine putting my kids there. However, when my dad stepped over those boundaries and I felt like I was going from one bad situation to another, I texted my friend that works at the company and asked for the address to the area I was interested in. I rode out on a rainy Friday night to check them out and was so surprised at how nice they were. Not my first choice in living arrangements, but definitely doable. This was NOT the projects or the public housing I thought it was. This is different from gov’t owned neighborhoods. They base your rent on your income. You cannot live there if you earn under a certain amount or over a certain amount. They also do 7 year background checks and credit checks of their residents. I was concerned about the credit check, but I passed. I started that process. I am three weeks in the process right now, still at home, and should be moving in this Thursday.

    Once I decided to go to this place, I opened up a checking in my own name. I did so online through Bank of America. That felt so good!

    When my husband thought I was leaving to go to my parents, he had given me a check for $1400. When I told him I had changed my plans, he asked me to use that money for groceries. I did buy groceries. I also used it for the application fee, copies of birth certificates for a couple of my kids I hadn’t ordered them for, and gas. That really helped the process. Although, he did give me grief because he had already “put a down payment on me leaving”….I reminded him that he had to take care of his children whether they were in the home or out, so it didn’t really matter.

    I did not get a lawyer, because in NC, you do not have to have a legal separation in order to be separated. I do not have the money to do that even now. However, I did have another friend that is a paralegal for a lawyer tell me that her lawyers consultation fee was $150 for a separation agreement.

    Last Saturday, I had dinner with one of the friends that worked for the company because she had been through a similar situation with her husband and had recently divorced. While there, she let me know that she was the CFO for the company and she was going to waive the security deposit and first month’s rent!!! I was blown away! My husband had given me a hard time (and I kind of understood it) that he was not giving me any more money until I left since he had given me the previous money to leave and I didn’t. I could have moved with friends in order to get the money to pay the security deposit and first month’s rent, but I REALLY didn’t want to put my kids in an unstable situation. I wanted to move from point A to B without any in betweens. God answered that prayer.

    She also gave me job tips and great advice. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and have even taken some graduate courses. I do very well in school so my first instinct is to get a solid job with a future and opportunity for advancement, retirement, benefits, etc. She calmed that down in me by just telling me that for the first year I just need to earn money in case my husband doesn’t pay child support. It will give me time to hear God and get his direction. I have been at home for 14 years and I do not have an impressive resume so I do lack confidence in myself in many areas. She assured me this was normal and I would get out of that.

    So, another friend owns a restaurant and has offered me a register job working there from 9-3….perfect hours for my kids. They know my situation and can be flexible if the kids need me for a ceremony, to pick them up, etc. She also told me she knows that I’m going to look for another job because of my education and knows this is not my ideal situation. She had been through leaving a bad marriage (14 years previous) and really wanted to help me in this way.

    I also applied for food stamps and medicaid for my kids to guarantee I can take care of those needs without stress.

    My goal this year is to gain peace and freedom.

    My main advice, at this point, is:

    1. Get your own checking account (as mentioned many times)
    2. Talk to your friends, be an open book….they will help.
    3. Don’t take help that feels like you will be indebted or strapped down further….people that truly understand realize your need to make your own choices at this time. They will respect your space.
    4. If you have no money or no hope for money, get a night time, part-time job….cleaning offices, Walmart, waitressing, etc. Waitressing is good because you have cash at the end of the night that you can open that checking account with and keep making deposits.
    5. When I did open my checking, I also opened a savings….even with no money. I enrolled (free option) in Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” savings option. They round up all of your purchases and deposit that balance in your savings. You will be surprised at how that adds up.
    6. Let your closest friends know what you are going through….they have eyes and ears too and are in places and know people you don’t.

    I am blown away at how God has met me and answered my prayers during this time.

    It’s still difficult and I have to remind myself of what I am leaving because my husband is sulking and on his best behavior for the most part. I had prepared myself ahead of time for this reality….one that has sucked me back in the previous five times I have left. This time I planned and prepared and didn’t leave in an emotional uproar. This time is different. Plan and prepare for the worst, expect for doors to open.

    I pray this helps someone. So grateful for you, Leslie!

  25. Brenda on February 4, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Elizabeth, This is very well laid out and I can see God working through each step. You are right not going to your parents house and the Lord has given you your every need. AMEN

  26. Brenda on February 4, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Debbie, Yeah God, He is always faithful and good. And Yeah for your kids being there for you. Keep looking to Him. He takes care of the sparrow, he will provide for you.

  27. tawnya on February 8, 2014 at 6:19 am

    LOVELY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS OF THE KING!!!!!!!!!DONT LET MY SPELLING AND.!? THROW YOU OFF..IM OBEYING THE SPIRIT RIGHT NOW! I will share with you some great things that have helped me and my 4 kids! I am 34 from San Diego Ca, and my abuse started in the home of orgin..I was abused and wipped so bad i couldnt sit down at school. I had such loyalty not to tell and excuse every beating because my mom would cry afterwards then lock herself in her room for days drinking..I became an addict of meth, and pot at 11 yrs old til I was 27..My mom wanted to leave state when I was 16 and showed me how to marry my then boyfriend that was 19..So she could go live a life of really dark sexual favors for older men and there money and I would blow her plan, so she pawned me off.. I high on drugs and numb said heck ya anything from this abuse.The boy was down because he was wounded too.. 3mths after marriage I was pregnant how i did not already have 3 by that time being with at least 20 partners from age 11 to 16??? I had endured emotional silence and a video gamer drugs acholic ..got tired left him over night when daughter was 3mths old. got on wel fare stayed at girlfriends home.repeated my cycle slept around used men, got pregnant by a drug dealer 2yrs 8, mths later 2 kids 19 yrs old..stayed until i was beat so bad in my pregnancy that i was wiping up my own blood.. went from coach’s to rent a rooms, to saying forget this and started to hustle men it was fast, easy and could make more money then someone doing it honestly..which I did not know, nor did I want..I just wanted my kids and no streets and be financial stable to run my show…NO man was going to pimp or play Tawnya, IM going to pimp myself..1,000,000 in one yr 5 cars I wanted to be the next hidy flice..I started to lure girls, they were giving it away already they midwest well get payed for it.. was my sick lifestyle and lie I had believed..I was a hustler and knew how to manipulate and snow any guy that came in my lane.. I got tired at 23 and saw people going to jail, my kids dads on meth and gone a lady came to my door preaching one day.. mormon but got me to think and I was interested and was scared to go to jail for ten yrs like the rest of the crowd and overnight stopped pimping..A man my age came in my path and I had only been smoking weed and living real low and scared, but thought I want an honest life and a father for my kids.So we hooked up and I was amazed at the level of status this one was because he had an honest job and all his friends real admired him and This had to be sent by the God that the women spoke of at my door that said he is good to his followers.. Lil did i know pregnant again moved in and drinking, porn, slaps, kicks, while pregnant..I was so mentally numb and embarrassed that I stayed and allowed my kids to see everything because I had burned every bridge and I was a looser in everyones eyes.. So i shut my curtains and put long sleeves on and begged the kids not to tell, and blamed my attitude for my blows..I was really scared to leave, all I knew was to sell drugs and pimp and I escaped a ten yr sentence and thought this is way easier then jail…He left over night and I had nothing in my name and he took the car ..rent was not payed and i was 2wks pregnant on baby 4..I went to my neighbor whom I hid from all that time and just vomited my desperate need..She bundled me and my kids up and took us to a bible study, I was so numb and out of place I thought these people are in a cult..But I stayed thinking lady just take me in please, I dont have no where to go..I had ten days before they were to put the lock on our front door, I thought i had 5000 a mth with this man and now i have nothing, I would call and beg and even say you can keep your girlfriend ill do anything just get us a home..I was gripped by fear and went back to my room and would not come out leaving my kids to fend for themselfs, I was dying and could not see away out..2 days before the lock went on the door and my house was packed and I had the 60.00 for the storage unit I get a knock on the door, from the bible lady next door! I was not going to church I said in my head…I swung the door open with an attitude as she said HI BEAUTIFUL,um I just got a 30,000 check and want to buy you a motorhome and put you in my back yard….ya i feel God saying do this for you and yours! WOW ok .. fast forward Im going to church every weekend and hearing the gospel for the first time mind you im newly pregnant and still feel like dying every other day.It was a great get me through at the time…My family is broken and I want it back,and im getting it with my manipulation tools.. He came back after me giving birth when my son was 2mths old, only to not hit anymore but rage and emotional abuse.. which was great it was way less noticeable in my book and we had 5000 back again..cycle went on cops got called, he was removed 6mths then back,We all had been in church for a couple of yrs.. raise hands say god bless and scream and rage is what went on wk after wk after 2 more yrs..Met a women that had a another women to show me a cd on church domestic violence …my heart dropped the holy spirit filled me and I could not sleep again in comfort without being woke up and scales removed..This women told me to come back and do a 6 wk course on it, I just went and broke down talked fast and begged show me how to get out, he is now hitting my kids..She gave me every bit of advice that was mentioned on this page . I didnt wait for a plan he was in the stage of hiding my keys and taking my bank card, I was dizzy and would be under so much stress I couldnt remember my phone numbers..sleeping in my car in the drive way so the kids wouldnt see him throw water in my face which was being done in his rages, or beer..I looked in my mirror and said HELL NO DEVIL TAKE IT ALL, LORD WERE ARE YOU..Next morning I waited and was going down to the court house I dont care who see’s me i thought and Im getting a kick out order NOW..put my kids at a friends house only to get all the way down there and there closed 7am and I have to wait til tomorrow.. go get my kids come ome and dreed 3pm when he gets home.I was in a panic state and could not think but reverted back to numbing out..He came home and I switched up as sweet as pie crying saying im a fool he is the greatest man that ever lived. I spent hr by hr looking at my kids running through our home that we remodeled and had painted and saw my kids run free..I thought maybe the court was closed and it was a sign from God to stay.. change my attitude, be more greatful, have sex 5 nights a week , cook, clean and have a merry heart..I always did that but maybe I just needed to TRY HARDER, LIKE THE CHURCH AND FRIENDS SAID…..DO U WANT YOUR KIDS IN A BROKEN HOME AND THE DEVIL TO WIN….I felt guilt, shame, come over me as I slid down the wall as everyone went to bed.I went to crawl in bed and he said your not coming in here unless you dance and break me off..I instantly cussed and went into my kids room to sleep..5am was woken up with him standing over me in his underwear saying get up and say your sorry and tell me what your going to do to make this right.. I was half asleep and rolled my eyes, he crabbed the blanket off and said do it now or ill wake the kids,, I jumped up and went quickly behind him to the kitchen..Said im a fool and ill get it together appease him with my tears and he left the room. I quickly made him lunch and breakfast and got him off to work..I ran to the shower and begged God really what do i do.. as i dunked my head under water I heard a voice say audibly GO” I looked up as if there was a man in the shower scared and said what?? I replayed the message I said to myself God what do I do? and My memory came back and said Go….I had a burst of power, jumped out the shower woke the kids took them back over to my friends and went back down to court.The way God set the lady’s up that day is a book in itself..I was granted a kick out order and he was out by 5pm that night. oh and I knew he was not knowing anything that day so I went home and mad dashed to collect every paper, computer and anything that had a name on it. threw it in my truck and took it all with me to a friends house, were I tucked it in a box in her basement.I had no money saved, and my councilor said plot and plan 3weeks prior stay for another yr with these tools and tricks and leave prepared..I write you all this to show you 4 kids no money and a mth to get out of his home..court ordered 1000 for 5 of us and welfare denied me, i had less then two wks at the house and sold everything we owned on craigslist like a mad women, calling shelters day and night only to be told no room, cant have boys over 7 have him stay with family and we will house you and 3 others..I was saved and loved God but wanted to commit suicide..I sold an had enough to buy a truck with cash and told my kids were living in a tent mama is not going back..again two days before door was to have a lock my girlfriend called up and said her parents just parked a motor home in her side yard and wont use it for three mths do i want to stay!!!!!!!!OH LORD JESUS..I went and collected my support for three mths and sold as i Went along, even picking up items on side of road having yard sales on tuesdays, wed, thursdays… I WAS DETERMINED TO COME OUT OF THIS….Found an apartment that got me in by GODS GRACE….Putting a big deposit down.I started my journey with wel fare and a couch from there unit once a week for ptsd.. no meds just lots of reading, bible studys two times a week, and Mark driscoll everyday on the computer..a couple mths later a group came to ur church called LIFESKILLSSANDIEGO.COM and I collected cans to make every class..IT ROCKED MY WORLD AND TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT ABUSE AND HOW THE CHURCH DID NOT KNOW IT IS A CYCLE.AND ITS MORE THAN A BLACK EYE.LOOK BACK AT MY STORY, I WROTE IT SO YOU WOULD SEE I JUST REPEATED MY LINE OF CURSES.. IT WAS MY POINT OF REFERENCE AND I WAS A DUPLICATE..I WENT TO EVERY BIBLE STUDY THEY HELD WHILE IN THAT MARRIAGE DID 80PLUS WEEKS OF COUNSELING ONLY TO BE COACHED TO SUBMIT BETTER, AND STOP PLAYING VICTIM GET SOME GIRLFRIENDS AND LEAVE YOUR MAN TO REST AFTER WORK.. DONT BE ANGRY AND PROVOKE WHEN YOU FIND PORN IT WONT MAKE HIM WANT TO CONFESS.I WOULD SHUT UP AND GO NUMB, BE A BETTER WIFE..IM GOING TO DO IT ALL JESUS WATCH ME…ONLY TO BE SPUN BACK TO MY CYCLES WITH HIM.AFTER BEING IN THE LIFESKILLS CLASS I WOULD GO HOME AND SHAKE, LORD WHY ME WHY NOT THE PASTORS AND LEADERS, IN HERE WITH ME, I WOULD TELL PEOPLE AND SAY HERE IS OUR REVIVAL FOLKS HERE AT CHURCH IN ROOM 2 …YA GIRL YOU NEED THAT GLAD ITS WORKING FOR YOU..I WOULD SAY NO ALL THE WOMEN IN ALL THE BIBLE STUDIES ARE IN SILENCE BUT ASK YOU TO PRAY FOR THERE PEACE AND HUSBANDS NOT TO………..PLEASE JOIN SO YOU CAN LEAD US TO THE MILK AND HONEY..THEY WOULD PAT MY HEAD AND WALK ON..21 MTHS LADIES HERE I AM STILL TAKING THE CLASS AND REFUSE TO COME OUT OF SUCH AN AMAZING SUPPORT GROUP THAT IS INSTRUCTED AND GETS IT..I HAVE HOMESCHOOLED ALL 4 KIDS FOR 6 YRS I DIDNT MENTION THAT, AND I LIVE IN MY OWN PLACE FOR 4 YRS ..I HAVE 4 KIDS 3 DADS THAT I HAVE TO FACE EVERY FRIDAY AT DROP OFF AND SUNDAY AT PICK UP..NOT AN EASY ROAD BY ANY STRETCH BUT WORTH IT, LOOKING BACK GOD WAS WORKING BEHIND MY BACK AND PREPARING THE ROAD.MY FAITH IS UNFIRE AND MY GOD IS IN THE RECYCLING BUSINESS. IM 8 YRS CLEAN, HOMESCHOOL 4 KIDS, LIVE OFF OF 1800, MY RENT 1100, AND IM NOT ON FOOD STAMPS, I DID A PROGRAM CALLED WAR ON DEBT AND BUDGET LIKE A CHAMP.I SELL HERE AND THERE AND SPEND ANY FREE TIME BUILDING MY SKILL SETS, WE HAVE NO TV FOR 4 YRS SO WE DONT GET STUCK AND OFF FOCUS..OUR CHURCH’S SAY THEY HELP BUT DONT, THEY ARE BUDGETING ELSE WERE AND DONT HAVE SINGLE MOMS GROUPS, SO I KEEP TRUCKING, KEEP SEEKING, KNOCKING AND DETERMINED TO REVERSE MY CURSE AND LEAVE A LEGACY..MY KIDS ARE 18, 15, 8 AND 7 GOD IS SO FAITHFUL AND WILL OPEN UP THE PORT HOLES AND DOWN LOAD IDEA’S AND STRATEGIES..YOUTUBE HAS BEEN A GREAT RESOURCE JUST TYPE IT IN WATCH SINGLE MOM VIDEO’S THAT ARE IN THE FAITH, MEAL PREP, FREEZER PREP, AND IM BEING GROOMED BY DANI JOHNSON AMAZING AMAZING SKILL SETS.. JUST HEARD MY FIRST MESSAGE BY LESLIE, AND WATCHED 20 VIDEO’S AT LEAST TO HEAR HER BE SPOT ON.. MORE RESOURCES TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL..GOD YOU HEAR EVERY WOMEN’S NEED AND CRY HERE, WILL YOU SECURE YOUR HARVEST AND OPEN UP ALL DOORS TO BRING THESE RESOURCES ALIVE AND EFFECTIVE THROUGH OUT THE BODY OF CHRIST AND BEYOND,WILL YOU EMPOWER EVERY WOMEN THAT HAS BEEN ON THIS ROAD TO KNOW HER TRIAL WILL NOT BE WASTED AND HER PAIN HAS PURPOSE. MAY WE BE COACH’S , COUNCILORS AND ADVOCATES FOR THE WOMEN THAT COME THROUGH OUR PATHS TO LEAD THEM TO THE MILK AND HONEY AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO GET THERE VALUE AND IDENITY SOLY FROM YOU AND NOT MAN, MOTHER, FATHER OR DISTORTED MEMORY OR VOICE BUT FROM THE TRUTH GOD THAT MADE US AND CREATED US TO BE WHOLE ON THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN, NOT BROKE,BUSTED AND DISCUSTED UNTIL WE GET TO YOU BUT THRIVING AND TAKING BACK OUR LAND AND FAMILY WITH DOMINION AND POWER, RISE UP THESE WOMEN LIKE YOU DID ME , WHEN THE WEARINESS SETS IN REMIND THEM, INFUSE THEM, EMPOWER AND DIRECT THERE STEPS TO GREATNESS. I COMMAND ALL ENEMIES DARTS AND HIS WORKS AND EFFECTS TO BE VOID BY YOUR BLOOD AND THESE WOMENS LIONS WOULD ROAR AND RISE FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS..MIND SHIFT AND REVELATION DOWN POUR IN JESUS NAME THANK YOU FOR THE FLUID GATES TO OPEN UP AND THESE WOMEN WILL SPROUT UP LIKE A WILD FIRE TAKING BACK THE KINGDOM.. PRAISE GOD THANK YOU LORD MORE…………….

    • Leslie Vernick on February 9, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      What a testimony Tawnya. Thank you for sharing with us all. Today my pastor mentioned Rosa Parks, the African American woman who decided “no more” and refused to go to the back of the bus. Her one act of disobedience and resistance to oppression started a movement which changed history. Can we do the same? As godly women, can we stand up against injustice, oppression and unfair treatment of women, wives and abuse in marriage? Let’s do it together. Let’s do it right. Let’s do it in a godly way, but Let’s do it!

      • tawnya on March 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm

        Thank you Leslie, when I read this my spirit leaped and I KNOW I AM THE REMNANT FOR CHANGE!!!! I go to court March 13th for child custody and the mediator after explaining that he still has emotional abuse and silent tactics with our children and myself was clearly not trained and took my 86% and dropped it to 60% adding him to 40% I am dumb founded. I have no lawyer and have two weeks to do my research. I believe we are called for this to open the eyes of our system and not make court a revolving door. They say they are against it and are not spotting it and sending us back into the war zone. Please stand in prayer with me that I can articulate the issue’s and they can set the stage for change, that they would not adapt this new schedule and my children and self will be protected from this abuse. Thank you for all that you do and the army you are raising up due to your wisdom and resources, may GOD secure your harvest in JESUS NAME AMEN!

        • Leslie Vernick on March 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm

          We will pray for you to have clarity and strength as you try to articulate this to the mediator. You’re right in an effort to be fair, then end up hurting abused partners and children. You may want to read this excerpt from a book Lundy Bancroft wrote addressing the issues of inequity in the court system. http://www.lundybancroft.com/child-custody-justice

  28. tawnya on February 8, 2014 at 6:39 am

    IM NOT WERE I WANT TO BE BUT IM NOT WERE I USED TO BE AND IM WORKING ON THAT GIRL DAILY! YOU GOT THIS KEEP STEPPING YOUR WORTH THE INVESTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. tawnya on February 8, 2014 at 7:02 am

    OH AND A BIG THING I DID WHILE IN THE HOUSE WITH THE MAN WAS NOT BRING MY BIBLE STUDY MATERIALS HOME, ANY ABUSE PAPERS, OR RESOURCES, I MET A WOMEN WHO WAS SAFE AND PICK THEM UP THROUGH OUT THE WEEK ON THE WAY TO THE PARK WITH MY KIDS, USED HER ADDRESS FOR INFO COMING IN AND GOING..WHEN YOU LEAVE IF YOU CAN PUT YOUR UTILITIES, AND OTHER NEEDED INFO DIVORCE LAWYERS COURT PAPERS, GET OFF FACEBOOK AND BE VERY SELECTIVE WHO YOU TELL YOUR STORY TO NOT AUNT JANE WHO TALKS TO EVERYONE, ABUSIVE MEN SMELL LEAVING OR YOU MIS LEADING AND THEY GO TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR QUICK CONVERSATION USEING KIDS BIRTHDAY NEEDS TO COLLECT INFO..IF HE IS A STALKER YOULL SEE IT GETS DARK AND IT CAN GET EVEN SCARIER, BUT IF I HAD TO DO IT OVER, TAKE THE CAR, WE DONT NEED TO DIVIDE YOU KEEP IT ALLLLL.. STUFF GETS REPLACED AND 10 FOLDS BETTER, BELIEVE ME SPOUSAL SUPPORT, ILL PAY YOU… JUST REMEMBER YOUR GREATER DAYS ARE AHEAD OF YOU.. MAY THE FOG BE LIFTED AND YOU WALK IN MIGHTY VALUE AND SHOW YOUR KIDS THAT THEY HAVE A CHOICE, DONT LET THEM MISS OUT ON AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE ONE PARENT BE HEALTHY THAT IS ALL IT TAKES.EVERY CLASS NOT EVERY WOMEN GETS IT, THEY ARE CONDITIONED TO STAY FROM THERE POINT OF REFERENCE.. TIME TO START A NEW AND HEALTHY POINT OF REFERENCE. I LISTEN CLOSE IN CLASS AND HEAR WOMEN 10,20,30,40 YRS IN AND THERE KIDS ARE REPEATING WHAT WAS NOT BROKEN BECAUSE THEY STILL DENY, AND MINIMIZE AND USE SCRIPTURE THAT DIVORCE IS WRONG, AND SEPARATION IS NOT HEALTHY TO WORK ON A MARRIAGE……THIS ISN’T YOU BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE A HISTORY MAKER AND A GAME CHANGER, RISE UP AND TAKE BACK YOUR RIGHT TO BE LOVED, VALUED AND MOVE AND HAVE YOUR BEING…GOD WILL SHOW YOU A GREEN PATCH EVERY STEP OUT OF THE DESERT … HE IS LEADING YOU …DONT GIVE UP THE VICTORY MAY BE A DAY AWAY!!!!!!!

  30. Michelle on February 8, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    This is alot of good advice. I am unfortunately still undecided. I am in a situation where I am not only being emotionally abused by my spouse but also his two sons 14 and 13. I was widowed before this marriage so have three bio children of my own that all live me too. My oldest ones are old enough to be on their own 20 and 18–well he graduates HS in May. And my youngest is 11. I just do not know how much more I can take with no change. I was hanging on until my husbands job switched him to night shift so I am alone with the boys every single night.
    Anyway I have been a stay at home mom for 12 years I have filled out hundreds of job applications and cannot even get an interview. I feel completely worthless. I may not have a college degree but pretty sure I would be a pretty good employee. I am going to take your advice on saving a bit here and there in my own savings account. But do not feel I will have enough for a lawyer plus rent and utilities…etc…the only relative I have is my mother and she will only make my depression worse…

  31. Brenda on February 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Tawnya,

    You are very brave to tell your story/testimony and how far you have come from being discarded by your mother when you really needed a mom. It should be inspiring for those that know they should get out and think they can’t because of finances. Collecting cans and having garage sales and any other small thing can get you to where you need to be will do just that, get your free. People lived for centuries without TV, and probably hasn’t hurt your children one bit. Stay the course that you are on. It is remarkable where you came from and where you are now. I am not a fan of Mark Driscoll in anyway, but am glad you were helped. My prayers are with you.

  32. Pam on February 9, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Tawnya– you GO girl! Praise God for your humble, joyful, & courageous heart! “The testimony of the Lord is *sure*!” (Psalm 19:7) The story God is writing in your life is a blessing to the rest of us. Keep turning the pages by faith– and please keep writing to us about what God is doing! (We all need to see the expression on His face the way you do!) God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you & your children– may He continue to be your peace.

  33. tawnya on March 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    You women are so precious and I value all your words! May God reach our wounds and speak directly to our CORE to bring us into the absolute wholeness he has designed us for!!! Father thank you for going ahead of us, may you break the darkness over our lives and allow all your light to shine forth, may we have absolute peace as we navigate new waters, may there be abundant resources stored up and poured out to enhance our destiny’s of greatness and be ALL that you have called us to be! IN JESUS NAME AMEN!!

  34. Tami on May 3, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I have been married 23yrs, 4 kids as stay at home mom. My husband took control of our financiers 6 yrs ago and II realized thru counseling that I was in a destructive marriage being controlled & a bused as my husband blocked me from funds to care for my kids basic needs (DR, food, school supplies, clothes..) . Realizing I was financially dependant on a monster is terrifying. And daily surviving by scrambling to beg borrow and do anything to care for kids in their neglect exhausting.

    But as all my friends & multiple counselors told me I needed to get legal help to protect my rights & my husbands attempts to crush me.

    I had no money & no way to abandon kids and earn it. I eventually applied for CC and was given one . I put $5,000 retainer for lawyer on it and she went to work yo file pendi lithium motion which requires your husband to pay for your family needs while lawyers work out dividing your assets. It’s terrifying when you never imagines having $5,000 to spend on anything to give it to lawyers and mind you it’s about $15,000 in legal fees so far and I can’t do a thing but wait for court to finalize everything. But as everyone’s told me your safety & sanity are worth it. You can rebuild a life when you are free of a toxic destructive relationship. Courts will make your husband pay for your lawyers and they husband will owe you alimony & child support.. In my case I am in a much better position now bc I have monthly funds to rely on & manage myself, no destructive person to walk in and devalue & disrespect me infront of the kids or treat me like I was worthless spending our funds on his interests while ignoring ours. It’s painful & terrifying to move fwd but well worth it to be healthy safe and secure for you and the kids.

  35. amber on May 16, 2014 at 10:41 am

    when it’s time to go, it’s time to go! In addition to churches, friends, and family there are: welfare, food stamps, school readiness (FREE PRESCHOOL), WIC, section 8, housing vouchers, usually free “legal assistance” with your state / county, the national domestic violence hotline, usually free housing at a domestic violence shelter. Call United Way! They tell you what is in your area. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go! God can provide manna from heaven!

  36. Brenda on May 17, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Amen, Amber

  37. Jan on May 18, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Be careful when setting up a separate bank account while still married. In some states your spouse will get half of that account when divorcing, even though his name is not on the account.

    Also once you do file and if you set up a bank account the court may make you give up half of that also because they say it indicates you were planning the divorce all along and were trying to hide money.

    • Leslie Vernick on May 18, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      It’s very important for you to get legal advice in these areas so you are well informed before making your moves.

    • Dianna on May 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you for the advise. I don’t know if it will help in what I have already done but I can plan better in the future.

      Again, thank you.

  38. Brenda on May 19, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Jan,
    With interest rates being as low as they are, put the money in a coffee can and bury it somewhere if you have to.

  39. Jan on July 24, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Now he is denying me money for medical prescriptions & supplies. There are so many things I have to take and use. His middle name is Cruelty!

  40. Kathy on March 24, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    How can I find out which states will take 1/2 of an account that is only in your name?

    • Leslie Vernick on March 24, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      YOu can google the question on the internet. It is full of answers, but once you see the answer, check it out for sure. There are on-line legal groups where you can ask a question for free or a minimal fee too. check those out.

  41. Brenda on March 24, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Kathy,
    I don’t know that specific information. I know that all states are different. In MI you can deduct from the combined assets what you brought into the marriage. I had an IRA–he had nothing. I took less on the house in order to get out. He snickered like he was so smart and got one over on me. I relinquished in order to be free. I could have fought and my attorney wanted me to, but I wanted my freedom more than money. The Lord has given me all I need.

  42. V on March 25, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Kathy, if you’re worried about it, take the cash out and put it in a safety deposit box or with a friend.

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