Sometimes, what starts as a loving and enjoyable relationship devolves into a relationship that you barely recognize. Years of hurt feelings and things left unsaid can create an atmosphere of resentment and hostility. Communicating and working through issues as a team becomes impossible. You constantly catch your spouse in lies and struggle to believe anything he or she says. If this sounds familiar to you, you may be involved in a toxic relationship. Getting a divorce when you have a toxic relationship with your spouse is no easy feat.
Protect Yourself from Harassment and Abuse
Sometimes, a toxic relationship becomes an abusive relationship. If you have been subjected to physical, emotional, or psychological abuse, stalking behaviors, or financial exploitation, the time to act is now. Abusive treatment rarely deescalates over time and often worsens when the abusive person feels he or she is losing control. Remember, abuse does not only involve physical harm. Abuse is defined by Illinois law as harassment, interference with personal liberty, intimidation, and willful deprivation as well as physical abuse. An Emergency Order of Protection can require your spouse to move out of your home, give you temporary custody of children, stay a certain distance away from you and your workplace, and more.
Gather Important Documents
Sometimes, a toxic spouse will actively hide important documents to make it harder for you to leave him or her. Make sure you have your driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, social security card, and other key items. Make copies of financial documents like tax returns, bank statements, mortgage documents, credit card statements, and other financial data. These items will be extremely useful if your spouse tries to hide assets or lie about finances during your divorce....