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3 Divorce and Separation
9. Dealing with emergencies
What if my husband or wife is violent to me or to the children?
If you have been badly hurt, go to your doctor or the local hospital. Explain what has happened and ask them to record your injuries so that they can give evidence about them if you need it. It may be helpful to get photographs of injuries while they are fresh.
Telephone a solicitor and arrange to see him or her as soon as possible if you think you need legal help. See 'Further help' for details of agencies that can help you if you are a victim or at risk of domestic violence. See also the CLS Direct leaflet 'Domestic Violence, Abuse and Harassment'.
What can the law do to protect me?
Can I get help to pay for this legal action?
What if I fear that my husband or wife will take the children away?
The 'Reunite' organisation can offer information and help to parents who fear that their children may be abducted (see 'Further help' for more details).
What if my husband or wife snatches the children?
If the children are taken out of the country, the Child Abduction Unit may be able to help (see 'Further help' for more details).
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Imogen Clout, a solicitor specialising in family law.
Leaflet version: May 2019
CLS Legal Info Leaflets
(Legal Information Leaflets)