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Stuck in an abusive home

Community Member

After a long abusive marriage I have managed to separate from my wife. Unfortunately I am now stuck in the same house with her. No physical abuse, but emotional, psychological and financial abuse. We cannot agree on a property settlement and she has all our money so I can't afford to move out unless I agree to her terms, which are unfair and she knows it. She knows I can't leave.

I have a solicitor, but it will take 12 to 18 months to drag her through the court. Apart from the financial cost, I cannot imagine how I will cope with 18 months of this. I am already fearful that my life is at risk.

My solicitor says that the Family Court won't care about the abuse, and besides it is too hard to prove anyway. I have tried many agencies and they all agree that the abuse should come into it, but I keep hitting dead ends. If I were female with bruises I would have a case. There appear to be very few avenues for men. Help!

24 Replies 24

Hi Tony

I just hope that it is helpful!

A quick resolution is in everyone's interest.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Mark

Sorry to hear what you're going through. I've been through very similar.

Please please make a call to the Men's Legal Service.
This is a FREE Legal service and you can be guaranteed they aren't giving you legal advice to make money out of you.
I used the Women's Legal Service for years and they CERTAINLY helped me steer my lawyers and barristers in the direction I WANTED not them.

You need to get your ducks in a row like yesterday.

IF you are working then you can have YOUR pay directly deposited into a Bank Account in your SOLE name. THIS needs to be done asap.

Ignore any rants of exW.... Look up the 180 and Gray Rock strategy. They really help mentally but the real healing will begin once you are done with this.

Glad you have a lock on your door, I installed them all over also.

I don't know WHO would say "18 month till 'your day in Court'"... heck no one has a day in Court lol... not in Family Law! Our cases lasted years but yours doesn't have to.

You can initiate proceedings as Mr Paul pointed out.
I know Courts say they take a hard line but IME they pussy foot around and go lightly lightly with abusers 100%.

The first thing FLC would do is send you both straight to Mediation OR an Arbitration since there are no children under 18yo for them to be concerned about.

Not saying they're concerned about children UNDER 18yo IME either.

Gather your strength, stay out of the house as much as possible. Check out Men's Legal, the 180, Gray Rock. GET YOUR MONEY into your own account.

Time for action.

You've so got this.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey Mark247

I'd even draw down the $10k you can get from Superannuation asap and have it deposited into YOUR Bank Account in your SOLE name.

Then use it.


Community Member

Thanks Ecomama,

I Googled Men's Legal Service and it appears it is not free. I already have unmanageable legal costs without entering into another cost agreement. Maybe I got the wrong site?

Already doing greyrock and 180. These gave me the strength to leave. I receive disability payments, which I have redirected to my new account, but she is threatening to have these stopped if I don't agree to her terms.

Quite honestly I think court is my best option, because that is where evidence will be needed, rather than her lies. It's just the time it will take that is the problem.


Re; ". I receive disability payments, which I have redirected to my new account, but she is threatening to have these stopped if I don't agree to her terms"

That's emotional blackmail. It's your disability payment not hers. She cannot stop such payments.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
hi M - i'm not sure if she would actually be able to do that? Does she sometimes threaten without following through or do u think she would actually do that?
That is plain abuse.
I don't know if this is bad advice as I've not had any legal experience but could you record her saying these things, just in case the court happens?
So many ppl have no evidence because who really has energy/time/forsight to record abuse. I've never done it myself but it had been suggested to me once.

Community Member

If you want your day in court, have you considered "Arbitration".

Arbitration is a process in which parties to a dispute present arguments and evidence to a Family Arbitrator, who then makes a determination to resolve the dispute. The Family Arbitrator will issue their decision (or 'award') within 28 days, which is drastically quicker than the courts, which can take up to 3 months to deliver a decision. Family Arbitration is voluntary, and can be undertaken either by agreement between the parties or by direct court referral. When a decision is made, it is registered with the courts, and has the effect of a court order. Arbitration is cheaper, faster option than court.

It will take many years to settle your matter in court. You can get the same result, through arbitration in six months at a fraction of the cost. Something to consider. If you want to know more, google "family law arbitration".

As sleepy has suggested, you might be able to record some of the verbal abuse you are getting. That being said, the use of the those recordings in court/arbitration is a legal nightmare. In some cases the court/arbiter will allow the recording; on other occasions, the recordings will be inadmissible and it could work against you. If you want to use recordings, get legal advice first.

Try and ignore the empty threats you are getting from your wife. There is a big difference between what she says, and what she can actually do. The reality is, your wife cannot stop your pension.


Community Member

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Unfortunately it seems I chose a hopeless lawyer who doesn't understand the abuse that has gone on and doesn't see that I am still being abused and manipulated. Even the process of negotiation; my ex just keeps stalling and delaying things. Now Christmas is upon us and it will be 2-3 weeks of further abuse until I can find a new lawyer.

I found this news article on coercive control. We really need these laws here NOW! 

Interesting that the "Family and domestic violence support" numbers that are shown with the news articles are mostly aimed toward women. I have tried most of the other services and they have been of no help. There is simply no support for men available.

I have to say that if I had know that separating from an abuser would be this hard and painful, I would probably have not started this journey. I would have just stayed, withered and died. I'm sure many people do. Why is abuse not illegal???

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey Mark 247

I'm sorry you're feeling so despondent atm. I'm glad Mr Paul has been a stalwart of support for you, he's amazing. (HIGH FIVE Mr Paul and Seasons Greetings).

And you are amazing too.
You're a victim but also a SURVIVOR and you WILL get through this!

I stopped commenting on your thread because of your seemingly extreme comments about women, I can understand your frustration. I've been through extreme DV and FV and we are lucky to all be alive.

But we are and we also got through the years of Courts.

I popped in to just say there are supports for men also.

There's the Men's Legal Service just like there's the Women's Legal Service.
Law Access is non gender biased.
Just as Legal Aid is non gender specific also.

There's also the helpline 1800RESPECT which I urge you to call any time 24/7/366.
Abuse is extreme disrespect to the point of we know what it's like.
This call line is there for YOU and all people suffering from abuse.
It's not gender specific.
If you need to speak with them every single day then do that!
I have at times and they've ALWAYS been incredible support for me and in turn my children.

So just like you are experiencing, I also called a million places and got little to no support and I'm a woman, and was and still am, protecting many of my own children.

Basically you're learning, as I did, that Family Courts don't really care about DV.

You'll REALLY need to take care of yourself to get through this.
Know that we are always here to support you TO get through this.

Perseverance, persistence, keeping your eye on the goal and radical self-care will GET you through, I promise!

Knowing what you'll have at the end, or how you'll be at the end is anybody's guess.
That's how abusive the systems are.

PLEASE employ the "Gray Rock Strategy" and "The 180" and these will help!!!
If I didn't study these and study the abuser itself, to know how to play the revolting game through Courts, then I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have gotten through.

You will.
Steely focus.

Time off now so look after YOURSELF!! Gray Rock and the 180 will show you how.
Your children really need you and YOU really need you to get through.

Many Prayers for your safe keeping.

Community Member

Hi Mark

Sorry to see you back here. I was hoping that progress had been made.

From what I can see, there are two issues in play here. Your wife's abusive behavior, and your desire to leave the marriage. The first is a DV criminal law matter; the second is a family law matter. To you, and many others, the two issues are one and the same; they are not. DV is a criminal matter and property settlement is a family law matters.

A lot of people conflate DV with family law. As a result, they are disappointed when the family law courts set the violence/abuse allegations aside. In general the court does not care why the marriage failed. All that is required, is one spouse to say, I want a divorce. The family court does not ask or care why. That being said, the family court will consider DV if one spouse can show that the violence impacted on there ability to contribute to the marriage. In legal circles this is known as a "Kennon" argument. If the Kennon argument can be proved, the abused spouse will get a property settlement adjustment in there favor.

My point here is, do not take DV allegation to a family court. If DV is an issue, you will need a criminal lawyer, not a family lawyer. This is why your solicitor said, "the Family Court won't care about the abuse".

In regard to lawyers, I would suggest that you engage a lawyer that specialises in family law, and nothing else. There are a lot of cowboys/girls out there.

Depending on where you are, a lot of family law specialists will offer a free, 30-60 minute first consultation. View this free time as an interview. If you don't like them, move on until you find someone that understands the problems you are having. You may have to kiss a few frogs before you find the right lawyer for you.

Hi EM - good to hear from you.

What "extreme comments" were you referring too? Did I miss something?