Client Spotlight: Helping a Chamblee Client Escape an Abusive RelationshipRobyn Webb
Like many people facing divorce, when Chamblee resident Rebecca came to the conclusion that she needed to leave her husband, she believed they could negotiate an amicable split.
“I was thinking, ‘I can do this gracefully. We can be adults about this, and make choices like grown-ups,’” she says. “But it wasn’t just me getting the divorce.”
Throughout her 8-year marriage, her husband had frequently exhibited controlling tendencies. As the couple began to negotiate their separation, those tendencies ramped up to an alarming degree.
Rebecca and her ex-husband had two young children together, and Rebecca hoped to work out an amicable custody split. But her ex wanted to see the kids only on his terms and on his schedule, and frequently missed dates to pick them up.
And when he did show up to exchange the kids, the abuse would start. “He would follow me around in public, harass me while I got the kids in and out of the car, and send me harassing texts,” Rebecca says.
As her ex’s frightening behavior intensified, his lawyer slow-walked her divorce. “He and his attorney were completely nonresponsive for months,” Rebecca says. It kept her stuck under her ex-husband’s thumb, unable to finalize the divorce.
Rebecca had initially chosen an attorney who had a lot of experience with amicable divorces, but this divorce was becoming anything but amicable. Her attorney didn’t seem to know how to handle these deliberate stalling tactics.
And the stress was getting to Rebecca. “As a woman and a single mom getting divorced, to feel anxious about the process — it’s one of the worst feelings in the world,” she says.
The ex’s unpredictable behavior was taking its toll on the kids as well. They started having panic attacks at school. Rebecca knew she had to take control of the situation, for herself and her kids, but didn’t know how.
“I met Robyn through a women’s entrepreneurial group,” Rebecca says. Robyn offered to talk through the issues informally, not as a lawyer but as a friend.
“Robyn was so gracious and kind, and completely non-judgmental. I knew pretty quickly after talking to her that I needed to switch,” says Rebecca.
Once hired, Robyn acted quickly to regain control of the situation. She called an emergency hearing, forcing the ex and his attorney back into the courtroom to get the ball rolling again.
“We sorted out custody right away,” Rebecca says. “And not only did custody get sorted out, but she got me child support, which I didn’t know I had a right to.”
The first order of business was to renegotiate the custody agreement. Rebecca’s existing agreement put her at the mercy of her ex’s whims and his abusive behavior. Under the new agreement, pickups and drop-offs could be scheduled at school, and Rebecca never have to see her ex in person.
A new, regular schedule was put in place that held the ex accountable and established some consistency for the kids. The ex no longer missed scheduled pick-ups, and the kids had more stability in their lives. They started to thrive at school again.
Robyn also secured a few other important concessions that helped Rebecca start over, including child support and temporary spousal support.
“There was such a big disparity between me and my husband in terms of income,” Rebecca says. “The child and spousal support made things so much easier. I didn’t have to keep doing everything myself.”
But perhaps the most important thing was that Rebecca’s ex was no longer in control.
“My ex-husband wanted to throw his weight around,” says Rebecca. “Robyn came in and said no, we’re in control. There are rules, and you have to play by them.”
And as Rebecca’s ex-husband tested the boundaries, Robyn ensured the rules stayed consistent.
When the ex sent in his first child support payment, for significantly less than what he owed, Robyn immediately got in touch with his attorney and ensured the rest of the money came in.
“As soon as I switched to Hoffer and Webb, things got better,” says Rebecca. “The relationship was easy, like talking to a friend who knew a lot more about divorce than I did. And I didn’t feel judged, which I did sometimes with the other attorney.”
Now Rebecca’s kids have a regular, dependable schedule for seeing their father and Rebecca never needs to encounter him during the switch. Robyn is there to stop controlling tendencies as soon as they start — so the ex’s behavior doesn’t escalate.
“I stayed in that relationship for a long time,” says Rebecca. “I would have stayed longer because I didn’t think I could leave and I didn’t realize what I was entitled to. I didn’t realize that an attorney’s job is to help you get out of situations like mine. It’s worth every cent to have an attorney who has your back.”
Work with a Chamblee Attorney Who Can Stop A Controlling Relationship
If you’re currently stuck in a controlling relationship, a knowledgeable divorce attorney can be your lifeline.
Abusive partners can be adept at manipulating the court system to keep control over their spouses and children. We understand how they operate, won’t be intimidated, and can put strong, savvy protections in place to shield you and your kids.
Get in touch right now by calling us at (404) 260-6330. We’ll set up your free, confidential consultation so we may help you like we did Rebecca.