How to divorce an abuser

You have to be careful when you divorce an abuser – particularly a physical abuser. The first thing you want to do before even serving the papers is to get an order of protection in place from either the family court or the criminal court.
You want to be away from the vicinity of that person when they are actually served with papers so it behooves you to have thought through the logistics before hand and arranged to have a place to go before the papers are actually served. This should be a place where the person can’t easily find you. So don’t go to your mom’s when he knows where your mom lives and probably even had a key to the front door.
You want to gather all your evidence of his/her abuse such as hospital records of visits you may have made due to injuries, and certainly police reports. You also want to have any pictures of bruises and other injuries which were taken when the police responded to your 911 call.
You need to put together witnesses who have witnessed the abuse or heard your spouse say inappropriate, threatening or insulting things to you and if they won’t willingly testify, you may have to consider getting them in by subpoena. But that creates a hostile witness which may be a bit of a problem.
Because many violent spouses (husbands in particular) are known to come back after  divorce is finalized and murder or seriously injure their spouses, when you divorce an abuser, you need to have a long term exit strategy planned out. So that you will make all the court appearances under the protection of law enforcement and you will keep your address confidential so that it doesn’t become a part of the public record. But beyond that, if I were you, I would be thinking of a more long term, permanent change of address and even identity that is far away, and that seriously impedes and frustrates your spouse finding you.
After many years have elapsed, then the anger both of you may feel would naturally subside, and then hopefully it won’t be so important to hide or be on the run from this person. But initially, it is advisable that you plan to be far gone from this person. Too many women are turning up dead after they divorce an abusive spouse.
http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs030/1102291077392/archive/1102436041680.html