Just last month in this blog we addressed the situation of a murder-suicide in Oceanside whose cause was being attributed to distraught feelings in a pending divorce (see Apparent Oceanside Murder-Suicide Linked to Pending Divorce, March 5, 2014). Those deaths occurred in February earlier this year. Coincidentally, a prosecution currently underway in San Diego Superior Court accuses a man of murdering his wife in 2012, with the motive being the couple’s pending divorce.
Kassim Alhimidi is on trial in San Diego County Superior Court in El Cajon, charged with the murder of his wife, Shaima Alawadi. Alawadi had been in the process of initiating divorce proceedings against Alhimidi at the time of her death. She was severely beaten in her home and suffered severe head injuries after being repeatedly struck with a blunt object, and she died from her wounds three days later in the hospital.
As we noted last month, divorce can be a trigger for domestic violence with drastic consequences. In some cases, there may be a history or pattern of abuse which is itself a factor leading to the divorce. In other situations, however, there may be no history of domestic violence in the marriage at all, and one spouse may be caught completely off guard by the other spouse’s violent emotional reaction when the subject of divorce is brought up.
Before you tell your spouse you want a divorce, consider when, where and how it should best be done. If the situation may get too intense, think ahead of time of a safe place you can stay while separate living arrangements are being worked out. If domestic violence is a real possibility, a temporary restraining order may be an option to keep you and your children safe. While a divorce may be necessary and may be the best thing in the long-run for all involved, planning ahead of time and talking with your attorney beforehand can help the process occur with the minimum amount of stress and with an eye for the safety and well-being of all parties concerned.