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Understanding Post-Separation Abuse

Separation and divorce mark the start of a new chapter. Unfortunately for some families, the end of an unhealthy relationship can bring a new form of trouble: post-separation abuse. This form of abuse can have devastating effects on families, especially if they have already been braving against other forms of abuse. 

In this blog, you will learn about post-separation abuse in high-conflict family law cases and how to break free from the cycle of it. 

What is Post-Separation Abuse?  

In the rocky aftermath of a separation or divorce, the dynamics between former partners can often take a toxic turn. Post-separation abuse is a toxic pattern of behavior where one parent seeks to maintain power over the other by weaponizing various tactics to achieve their goals. Three primary objectives drive this behavior:  

➡️ The Need to Win: For most abusers, separation is not just an end but a battlefield where victory must be secured at all costs. Winning becomes a priority, even if it means undermining the other parent’s authority or manipulating the children. 

➡️ The Need to Control the Other Parent: Post-separation abusers seek to maintain dominance over their former partners. Through monitoring, dictating decisions, or imposing rules, they assert control and instill fear to keep the other parent compliant. 

➡️ The Need to Punish the other Parent: Feelings of resentment and anger often manifest in a desire for retribution.  Abusers will seek to inflict pain on their ex-partners. A few ways they do this is through financial manipulation, visitation interference, or character assassination.  

Learn more by watching the video below ⤵️ 


Have you heard of post separation abuse? This is abuse thay continues after the relationship ends. #postseparationabuse #divorce #familylaw #dv #custody #attorney #lawyer

♬ original sound – Jenni Brown I Family Law Tips

What are Common Post-Separation Abuse Tactics? 

Recognizing the signs of post-separation abuse is vital for safeguarding both yourself and your children during your family law case. Here are some common tactics used by abusers: 

Financial Abuse: From withholding support to sabotaging employment opportunities, financial manipulation becomes a tool for control and dependency. 

Coercive Control: Abusers coerce compliance, leaving their ex feeling powerless and trapped. A few tactics include manipulation, intimidation, and threats.  

Counter Parenting: This creates instability by undermining the other parent’s authority and decisions, from disregarding parenting plans to badmouthing them in front of the children. 

Isolation: By isolating their ex from support networks through lies and gaslighting, abusers maintain control and diminish their ability to seek help or escape the abusive situation.  

Parental Alienation: Systematically undermining the children’s relationship with the other parent through manipulation and lies causes emotional harm and fractures family bonds.  

Abuse of the Legal System: The abuser will use legal avenues as a tool for harassment and intimidation. This includes filing frivolous lawsuits, seeking unnecessary modifications, or purposefully causing delays to prolong the case and the abuse. 

How to Stop Post-Separation Abuse 

Breaking free from the cycle of post-separation abuse requires courage, determination, and support. Establishing clear boundaries with the abusive parent is essential for protecting yourself and your children. Prioritize you and your children’s well-being and safety above all else. 

Begin by documenting every instance of abuse. Include dates and information about instances of physical abuse, verbal abuse, stalking, financial abuse, reproductive abuse or coercion, spiritual abuse, and sexual abuse. This will create a paper trail that can provide crucial evidence and support your case in legal proceedings. It also helps to seek out support from friends, family, or support groups who can offer emotional guidance and encouragement during this challenging time.  

If you or someone you know needs help with their situation, visit for more resources. 

Brown Dutton & Crider Will Protect You During Your Family Law Case 

Navigating the complexities of post-separation abuse often requires legal assistance. That’s where Brown Dutton & Crider can help. Our team of experienced family law attorneys specializes in high-conflict child custody and divorce cases and understands the intricacies of navigating Georgia laws. We will advocate for your rights, protect your interests, and help you reclaim control of your life and your future.  

If you have questions about your unique situation, contact the attorneys at Brown Dutton & Crider today. Call (678) 730-2578 orbook a consultationnow.