Abusive Relationships and Financial Hardships: What Should You Do?

VocabLegalFees_Beg_340Unfortunately, many couples find themselves parting ways after years of marriage and that can create problems never before considered. Spousal abuse or financial hardship often result. Thanks to Melanie Friend of CowanGates for this valuable information.
The information below is provided by CowanGates
I just left an abusive relationship, and I have a protective order against my ex. What happens if he shows up at my house?
Do not allow him inside the house. Call 911 immediately. Violation of a protective order is a criminal offense.
You should keep a copy of your protective order with you at all times, so that you can provide it to law enforcement if necessary.
At my divorce trial, the judge ordered me to refinance my mortgage and pay my husband his half the equity in our house, which is where I still live. I can’t afford a refinance loan. What could happen to me if I don’t do it?
Your ex-husband could ask the court to hold you in contempt of court for violating its order. Contempt can come with fines or even jail time. You really must try your best to comply with the court order, but if lenders refuse to approve you for a refinance loan, you may have options, such as asking the court for an extension of time to obtain the refinance loan. You may also have to explore alternatives, such as taking on a renter in your home in order to afford the loan payments, or selling the house and dividing the proceeds with your ex. Talk to various lenders and to the attorney who worked with you on your divorce case to ensure that you know your options.
Melanie Friend

MELANIE-A-FRIEND-200x300Melanie Friend practices family law at CowanGates with a focus on divorce, child and spousal support, child custody and visitation, adoption and prenuptial agreements. She joined the practice in 2007 and was named principal in 2012. Before CowanGates, Friend completed a clerkship for the Honorable Timothy E. Meredith of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. She received her undergraduate degree from Thiel College in 2003 and her law degree from Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in 2006.Friend is a member of many local associations, including the Metro Richmond Family Law Bar Association and the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar. She serves as judicial candidate endorsement chair on the board of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association and serves on the Young Trial Lawyers leadership committee. Friend is also qualified as a Guardian Ad Litem for children. In March 2013, Friend was named the Richmond Bar Association’s 2013 Young Lawyer of the Year.

Click here for more information.