Ending Abusive Relationships
Your rights within an intimate Relationship In an intimate relationship, both parties have equal rights, and the freedom to lead their lives while remaining married, with dignity, respect, freedom, care and support without any threats, assault or deprivation of your safety and freedom. There are no laws that specifically govern relationship dynamics and how you can navigate them when they get abusive, violent or unsafe to your interests. However, this does not mean that you have no rights. Within the space of a relationship, your individuality remains as it is and is not compromised because you are in a relationship. You have a right to say no, you have a right to get out of an abusive relationship, and to end it. You have a right to ask for help from anyone you trust in order to do so. In a relationship, you have the right to feel safe, equal and comfortable, and a threat to any of these in any form, or an attack on any of these in any form is not acceptable. Upon ending a relationship, there are no specific legal rights like those of alimony. However, in some countries, there are legal presumptions where living together for a certain period of time is considered evidence of marriage and in such cases, there may or may not be legal rights to the parties to the relationship depending on the country’s marriage laws. Your rights within Marriage Within a marriage, both parties have equal rights, and the freedom to lead their lives while remaining married, with dignity, respect, freedom, care and support without any threats, assault or deprivation of your safety and freedom. Laws are made to protect parties to a marriage in situations where a spouse faces abuse or violence or threats of abuse or violence at the hands of the other. In most countries, the spousal violence laws are generally offered in favour of women – although all genders can be at the receiving end of violence at the hand of the spouse. When a marriage gets abusive or violent, you have the right to leave the marriage, end it, or even choose to work with your partner with the help of a therapist, a counsellor or any trusted and experienced practitioner. Regardless, anything that you do should be a consequence of your informed choice being the basis of your decision. If you want to legally end your marriage owing to abuse or violence, one option is to seek legal help and file for a divorce or annulment of the marriage by initiating legal proceedings. Usually, annulment is provided by courts in some countries where a marriage is void or voidable. A divorce is sought where a marriage is voidable, often due to changed circumstances between the parties. A void marriage is one that is outright illegal and prohibited by the law, and therefore is automatically annulled. A voidable marriage is one where an annulment is sought by either party on grounds such as bigamy, impotency, lack of mental capacity, lack of age of consent, marriage obtained by fraud or marriage obtained by force. In some countries, an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, cruelty to the spouse, adultery and domestic violence can form the basis of an annulment or divorce. There is also a ground for divorce on mutual consent, where both parties agree to end the marriage. When you seek a divorce, and especially if you are not earning, and / or have children whose custody is with you, you are entitled to seek alimony from your ex-spouse which is calculated based on facts and circumstances involved, and determined by the court.