View Full Version : Practical Advice for Leaving A Bad Relationship

Sep 11, 2011, 01:44 AM

Have a need to "clean" the house, reorganize closets, the basement, attic, kitchen, etc. Have piles for trash. Donate what you don't want but use this as an opportunity to pack up your things. You can have a friend help move them claiming s/he is helping deliver to be donated or going to her/his house for their block-wide "yard sale" at the end of the month.

This way your things will be out of the house and in a safe place so STBXH can't do anything to them. You won't be in a rush to get your things, so nothing will be forgotten.

Make sure you take copies of the last three years' tax returns, bank account info, marriage certificate, your social security card, your birth certificate and any other information necessary for the divorce.

If your paycheck is direct deposit, stop this NOW. If you have a joint safe deposit box, empty it out now.


Sep 12, 2011, 06:21 AM
here is an expansion of what I wrote for a previous poster about leaving her abusive husband:

Now, some practical advise:

First, don't wait until Monday to talk to a lawyer. Find a domestic violence councilor and talk to them. If you are in the USA the 800 national number is 1-800-799-7233

Don't be afraid to call the police - keep your cell phone handy at all times. Once you leave, and talk to a lawyer, find out about a restraining order. The sad truth is that once you have left, he will probably be a lot worse. Can you get a friend to come over NOW and help you leave? It will be a lot safer that way.

Be aware that anything you leave behind you may never see again - but that losing stuff, no matter how long you have had it, or how much it means to you, is better than losing your baby or your life.

If you are leaving the house take with you:

1. Anything you can't replace - photos, heirlooms, jewelry, etc.

2. Copies of your joint tax returns for the last 7 years

3. Copies of his pay stubs and his work information - you may need this for child support/alimony

4. Make sure you have all your health insurance info.

5. All your important papers - driver's license, passport, marriage certificate, social security card, title to your car, etc. are with you. Ditto the information for the kids.

6. At least a week's worth of clothes including underwear and sleepwear, and several pairs of shoes. This is where a friend to help you becomes useful. Two cars means rescuing a lot more stuff.

7. If he has any credit cards under your name take him off them ASAP. See what you can do to any joint accounts, but don't take more than half the money. Make sure you have an account he can't get at.

8. Anything super meaningful to your child(ren). Special toy, doll, book, etc.

9. Prescription drugs, glasses including spares, contacts.

10. If you have a joint email account, get your own. For safety's sake change the password on your email account.

11. Cell phone(s). If you are on a family plan with him on it, drop him, or get your own plan, depending on whose name it is in.

12. Get your name off utilities, cable, landline phone, etc. you don't want to continue to be liable for such bills.

13. Make photocopies of all important papers and credit cards and stash them somewhere SAFE, not in the house, so you will at least have the basic info if he gets a hold of them.

14. Clear your history, cookies, bookmarks, etc. on your computer if you are leaving it behind so he can't track you with that.

I know there is more, but this should get you started.

Best of luck, and please check in so we know you are doing OK.

Argent Snail

If the world were merely seductive that would be easy. If it were merely challenging that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world & a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day EB White

Sep 12, 2011, 08:51 AM
I would like to add a few things:

Get all new bank accounts at a new bank. Not a different branch of the same bank. Whole different bank; preferably in a different town. Try and find one that rents safety deposit boxes, and stash copies of important documents there.

Don't get a fancy new cell phone right away. Buy a "disposable" pre-paid phone, like Tracfone. This way, if he starts harassment over the phone, you can use the one he's calling to collect evidence against him and inexpensively get another phone to actually use. (Put the first one on silent, and just remember to charge it from time to time.)

Get a post office box. Get one that's neither in the town where you'll be living or where you or he work. It'll be harder for him to find you, and he won't have much excuse for being there.

If you have kids, make sure their schools know about the divorce, so they can prepare for any nasty confrontations that may ensue. Also make sure the emergency contact info is up-to-date.

I'm sure others will add a lot more good info I can't think of.

Sep 22, 2011, 03:49 AM
Here are some tips regarding banking when you are leaving or tossing your STBX out. However, most are excellent for everyone in trying to stave off identity theft and/or unauthorized access to your funds.


1. IMMEDIATELY stop direct deposit of your paycheck into a joint account. Tell your employer it will take a couple of weeks to get the new account set up, so you will have to receive your pay by check.. As soon as you have the new account(s) open, inform your employer so direct deposit can start again.

2. Get a new account at a bank near where you work as opposed to near where you live. With direct deposit of your pay and bank/check cards, you almost never have to set foot in the bank after you open the account.
a. Open a checking AND a savings account. Have them both accessible online and allow transfers between the two in case you have an unexpected expense and need to get the money into your checking account.
i. You can even have the direct deposit set up so a certain percentage automatically goes into each account.
ii. Having both accounts helps your credit worthiness and credit score.

3. If you are still living with spouse, start removing your half of the funds in the bank accounts NOW. Do not do it all at once until you leave or spouse starts removing funds.

4. Take YOUR things from the joint safe deposit box.

5. Get a safe deposit box and keep any valuables and important paperwork in there. This would include photos, family heirlooms, your children's important papers (e.g. immunization records, school information, birth certificates) and model and serial numbers on your appliances and electronics for insurance purposes.

6. Set up online bill paying where the bank issues the check, using your funds, to pay the bills you authorize. This is an excellent way of preventing your funds from being stolen. This also prevents anyone from knowing your account information or address as the bank’s name and bill paying account are on the check. The account to which you are making a payment is noted on the check and that is all the recipient needs. You can set these up for single or multiple time uses or both.

7. Limit ACH (Automatic Clearing House) access to your funds unless you provide written authorization. This is the system of automatic (one time or routinely scheduled) payments taken directly from your account. This is NOT the same as ATM or debit/bank card POS (Point of Sale) use.

8. While you must provide your home address and full name and social security number to the bank, you are NOT required to have this appear on your checks.
a. It is recommended using your first and middle initials and your last name printed on the checks but require your full legal name as the signature (e.g. J.B. Smith on the check but Jane B. Smith for the signature).
b. It is becoming more and more widely used to have your P.O. Box mailing address on the checks to protect your home address.
c. You can have your bank statements sent to the P.O. Box or, preferably, available paperless online only. You can download them and save them paperlessly.

9. Do NOT allow any checks to be cashed if they are made out to “Cash.” Or, if you must, you can require the person cashing such a check provide the teller with the password you designate. Change this password at least annually.

10. Require any checks made out to you require a password before cashing. Change this password at least annually.

11. Get a new debit/bank card, with a new PIN (Personal Identification Number), at least every six (6) months but not more than every three (3) months. More often than every three (3) months would very likely trigger an investigation by the bank’s fraud unit (depending how good they are at fraud prevention).

12. Check your credit report, with all three (3) agencies, for any errors. You’d be amazed at the number of errors due to similar names, addresses or social security numbers. Get these errors cleared up as soon as possible. You are entitled to one from each agency annually.

13. Remove STBX from any credit cards where you are the primary. Ideally, remove yourself from any of joint credit cards or those where STBX is the primary. It would be very easy to track you by checking the location of the stores where you made any purchases.

14. Find out your credit score.

15. If you are unable to get a credit card in your own name, you can get a secured credit card by placing a certain amount of funds, usually $100 to $500, in an interest bearing escrow account. Your total credit limit would be the amount of funds in the escrow account. After about a year, you may be eligible for an unsecured card especially with direct deposit of your pay and a checking and savings account.

16. If at all possible, do NOT use your debit/bank card for online purchases; a credit card provides more protection.

17. If possible, get or download a program (e.g. Quicken or Money) to reconcile your account records to those of the bank. These programs do it automatically, alert you to any problems and balance your account.