Mary was feeling quite settled in her career. She thought it was time to settle down and start a family. There was only one problem: she was not dating anyone. Mary decided to give online dating a try. That is when Mary met Michael. He seemed so charming compared to the other men.

In the beginning, Michael treated Mary well. He took her on nice dates, bought her gifts, and showered her affectionately. Mary felt like she had finally found the one. Six months into the relationship, Michael moved in. From there, things went downhill quickly.

Michael soon became possessive. He tried to isolate her from her family and friends. He would demean and devalue her. He would check her phone and her mail. He also wanted to know exactly how much she had and what she was spending on. Mary felt intimidated. She began to believe the horrible things that Michael was saying to her. She thought about leaving, but she feared Michael would stalk her.

That is when Mary found out that she was pregnant. Mary was ashamed that she had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. She was also afraid for her unborn child. What sort of father would Michael be? Would her baby be safe? Mary came up with an exit strategy to leave the home. She bought a phone he could not track and called her mother. Together, they found a way to move Mary out of the house.

When Michael found out that Mary was pregnant, he became more possessive. He would send flowers to her work, asking for forgiveness. When Mary did not respond, he escalated his control tactics. He started to threaten her. Mary was too afraid to ask him for child support. She allowed him to back her down. Out of fear, she shared custody with Michael. She was anxious every time that her children were with him.

Here are some things for Mary to consider when it comes to the law:

  1. Obtaining a family law professional: A family law professional can help you to understand your rights as a parent. A family law professional will understand how to keep you and your child safe.
  2. Your Child’s Safety is The Priority: Fight for their safety if you believe your child is being abused. If there is any physical or sexual abuse, file a report with the police and child protective services immediately. Neglect can be just as dangerous for your child. Consult your family attorney and let them know what is happening.
  3. Domestic Violence: You have a right to feel safe. Consult with your lawyer about obtaining a Restraining Order. Talk to your lawyer about adding your child to the Restraining Order. A judge can modify the Order to allow for visitation and place restrictions on the abusive parent.
  4. Witnessing Domestic Violence: It is terrible for a child to see aggression in the home. Domestic violence, verbal and emotional aggression make your child feel unsafe and unlovable.  It also teaches them to use aggression in their own relationships.
  5. Understand Control Tactics: When you know someone uses abuse and coercion to control you, you can devise a plan. Part of this plan should prevent the controlling person from finding information about you. This includes taking down your social media and distancing yourself from friends and family they can obtain information from.
  6. Abuse through the Court System: Those who are aggressive towards their intimate partners can continue their abuse through the court system. This might look like keeping you in court as long as possible. This is to punish you, drain your resources, and humiliate you. Abuse can also look like blocking access with your children.
  7. Seek help from a mental health professional: A mental health professional can help you overcome any fear, guilt, or shame from the abuse. They can also help you overcome any trauma. A mental health professional can teach safety tactics to keep the controlling person at bay.

Monica Borschel, Ph.D. Divorce and Trauma Recovery Coach
Monica is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. She later moved to New York City, earning her master’s in clinical psychology from Columbia University. She then pursued her Doctorate in Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. Her training and qualifications include certifications in Brainspotting and High Conflict Coaching.

 Attorney DeLacy Crovo, J.D.
Attorney Crovo is originally from Boston and settled there right after graduating from Suffolk University Law School on Beacon Hill. Her career began as an Assistant District Attorney for Middlesex County. After honing her litigation skills at the DA’s Office, Attorney Crovo opened her Family Law Practice, where she has successfully created family law solutions and litigated family law cases for over thirty years.
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Attorney DeLacy Crovo and Monica Borschel can offer consultations together upon request. A financial advisor can be included.