Leaving a Relationship and Family Violence & Abuse

From Clicklaw Wikibooks

If you are planning to leave the relationship think about where you will live and how you will stay safe. You may want to get help from a victim services worker, settlement worker, trusted friend or lawyer.

If you leave and you want the children to stay with you, take them with you when you leave. Talk to a lawyer about getting a parenting order right away. You will also need to take important documents and belongings for yourself and your children such as your BC Services Card/Care Card or passport. Talk to a victim services support worker about what papers you should take with you.

What about the home?

If you had to leave the family home and want to return to live there without the abuser, you may need legal advice. You may also need a family law protection order, a parenting order, and an order that gives you the right to live in the family home.

If you do not wish to return to the family home, be aware that property division laws are complicated and there are important time limits. You will need legal advice to explore your options.

What can I do about money?

You may entitled to the Canada Child Tax Benefit,Universal Child Care Benefits, BC Family Bonus, child support and possibly spousal support. If you are not getting these benefits talk to a lawyer, victim services worker or settlement worker who can offer assistance on how to apply. You should also consider talking to staff at a Family Justice Centre about child and spousal support.

If you do not have enough money for your basic needs, contact the income assistance office in your area at 1.866.866.0800. If you need money for food, shelter or medical needs, tell the worker that you need an “immediate needs assessment”.

A welfare, victim services worker or settlement worker can help you to learn more about the benefits that may be available. It is best to let them know you are leaving an abusive relationship.

If you do not have permanent residence status and need financial help, talk to a lawyer or settlement worker. If you already receive financial assistance as a refugee or refugee claimant, these payments will not be cancelled because you have left an abusive relationship.

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by People's Law School, 2014.



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