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What is post-separation abuse?

Post-separation abuse can take many forms. Usually, it is a continuation of abusive patterns displayed by the perpetrator within the relationship. Post-separation abuse can continue for many years, particularly when perpetrated through child arrangements.

  • Counter-Parenting: the perpetrator will use anything arising as part of a co-parenting arrangement to exert control. Small decisions that parents would normally be able to resolve, become big issues and often ends up in the courtroom.
  • Allegations of Parental Alienation: this is a common weaponsied response to evidence of abusive patterns, with around 80% alleging this to confront or deflect evidence of abuse.
  • Neglectful/Abusive Parenting: children experience abusive, hostile or unsafe parenting patterns when spending time with the perpetrator.
  • Economic Abuse: perpetrators will attempt to control or limit the victims access to funds post-separation. Witholding child support, being dishonest in financial disclosure, controlling funds are all common hallmarks of post-separation abuse.
  • Legal Abuse: vexatious litigation patterns, keeping victims in lengthy and agressive litigation. Engineering situations to manipulate legal process.
  • Stalking/Harrassment: usually covert, the perpetrator will often stalk social media, try to access private accounts and enlist friends or relatives to ‘keep tabs’ on the victim.
  • Isolation: Manipulating others to damage your reputation, usually in key areas such as your local community spaces, your children’s school, healthcare professionals and any services the children may be involved in. They may seek to stop children’s emotional and wellbeing support, particularly if it is trauma related.

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We have a range of courses providing tools and resources about post-separation abuse through family court.

Watch: The Seven Signs of Post-Separation Abuse

Here are the common behaviours associated with post-separation abuse. This is by no means exhaustive – coercive control can manifest in a variety of ways. This video outlines the most common indicators of post-separation abuse.

Download our free guide: Coping with family court after leaving an abusive relationship.

Watch: Attending family court.

Tips for those in family court, whether you’re legally represented or not.

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