Compassionate and Caring Representation

Top Lies Abusers Tell

#1. KIDNAPPING. “You cannot take my children or keep my children from me, or you are kidnapping them and/or I will call the police and you will be arrested.” You cannot kidnap your own biological children. (Note – if there is a court order in place you must comply with the custodial terms in the court order or there may be an issue). He can call the police, but law enforcement will not do anything but advise him to file an action for custody. If you are in an abusive relationship you need to take your children with you or else the court may accuse you of abandoning them or with a neglect for leaving your children with an abusive spouse.

#2. LARCENY/THEFT. “You cannot take the money in our bank accounts, safe deposit box, or cash that is hidden away in the house or I will call the police and have you arrested for stealing.” You cannot steal what lawfully belongs to you. All property including monies or cash accrued during the marriage is considered marital property or joint property and lawfully belongs to both spouses. You cannot steal what belongs to you. He can call the police all he wants, and they will advise him to file an action in domestic court. (Note – do not take money that is in his individual accounts).

#3. ABANDONMENT. “You cannot leave me, or I will sue you for abandonment and/or I will call the police and have you arrested for abandonment.” There is no such criminal charge in NC and there is no such civil lawsuit in North Carolina. Abandonment can be considered marital
misconduct as it applies to alimony cases, however, it does not apply when a person leaves the marital residence with justification (ex: adultery, addiction, abuse, etc.). In fact, North Carolina law requires one of the spouses to leave the marital residence and establish their own separate residence in order to be eligible to file for Absolute Divorce in this state. So, the law requires you or your spouse to leave permanently at some point.

#4. YOU WILL GET NOTHING. IT’S ALL MY PROPERTY. He will likely tell you that you are not entitled to the house, bank accounts, retirement accounts or any other assets that are in his name or your name’s jointly because he’s the one who earned all the money and accrued all the assets during the marriage. That is false. In North Carolina, any property which includes all assets that are accrued during the period from the date of marriage through the date of separation are considered marital property or joint property regardless of the person who earned the income that contributed to the accrual of that property. The court will do an equitable distribution of those marital assets presumed to be a 50/50 split of those assets.

#5. WE DON’T NEED TO GET ATTORNEYS INVOLVED. He will likely tell you that you don’t need to get attorneys involved because they will only spend all of the money and spend all of your children’s savings and college tuition. This is his way of manipulating you to ensure that he is able to control and confuse you and put pressure on you so that he can end up getting his way and taking financial advantage of you. You should absolutely have an attorney involved who has reasonable fees to be sure that you have an advocate on your side to deal with the coercive control.

#6. NC IS A 50/50 CUSTODY STATE. “So, you should just give me 50/50.” North Carolina is a very diverse state with regard to custody schedules and every county and every judge will do things differently. It is absolutely not true that across the board North Carolina is a 50/50 custody state while there are some judges and counties that may lean 50/50 more than others that is not true for every courtroom. Wake County takes cases on a case-by-case basis, and it is more the exception rather than the rule that the courts award 50/50. The courts are also generally very sensitive to domestic violence, which is also a factor in custody cases. It’s very important to have an attorney who is educated and sensitive to the issues of domestic violence when it comes to custody, or this factor may be overlooked and have an impact on your children’s lives.

#7. RECORDING ME IS ILLEGAL. “You cannot record me as that is against the law.” Recording another person is covered by both Federal and North Carolina wiretapping statutes. Both NC and Federal laws only require the consent and presence of one person to the audio recording at the time the recording is made to be legal. That is not the same for all states. Some states require that both parties’ consent to the recording (as of 3/2024: CA, CT, IL, MD, FL, MA, MO, MT, NV, NH, PA and WA). In NC, you can record your partner so long as you are present or part of the conversation, meaning you can record your conversations with them on your phone or with another recording device. You cannot leave a recording device on, or voice activated and leave it in another person’s car or in the house if you are also not home. Recordings are some of the best evidence, but you have to do it discretely, especially in domestic violence relationships or you could place yourself in danger.

#8. IT’S NOT ABUSE. IT’S NOT PHYSICAL. “It’s not abuse, I never put my hands on you.” Domestic violence in NC is broader than physical abuse. While the courts certainly consider physical acts of abuse as a form of domestic violence – that is only one form of abuse. Many more women experience emotional and psychological abuse which the statute (50B) defines as “continued harassment that rises to the level to inflict substantial emotional distress.” Basically, living on pins & needles because of your spouse’s cruel and unpredictable behavior. There are many other forms of abuse: sexual, financial, spiritual, etc. which fit under that “continued harassment” part of NC law.

#9. I WILL LOSE MY JOB. ”If you file for a Protection Order (in NC called a Domestic Violence Protective Order “DVPO” or “50B”) or do not dismiss the Protection Order against me I will lose my job and not be able to pay support.” A protection order is a civil order and not a criminal order. Therefore, it will NOT show up on a criminal record search. There are very few jobs that will regularly run civil background checks where a Protection Order may pose an issue, such as a high security clearance position “FBI.” While there are some jobs that may be at issue, they are extremely rare. A protection order is extremely important for your safety and gives you a lot of leverage in negotiations with your abusive spouse. They will want the order dismissed ASAP so that they can regain control.

#10. IF YOU DISMISS THE CHARGES, I WILL DO……. (insert promise here). In contrast to a DVPO which is a civil order, if they violate a protection order that becomes a criminal charge. You do not have the power to dismiss those charges – only the state of NC “District Attorney” can dismiss those charges. The same applies if you are criminally charged in an act of self-defense for assault. If he tries to get you to do something and he promises to dismiss the charges against you – he has no authority to do so. Don’t fall for it.

#11. SIGN THIS/AGREE TO THIS AND THINGS WILL BE BETTER. Have things ever gotten better when you have acquiesced to what he wants? You know the answer is “no”. The more he gets what he wants, the more he will make demands because he knows you will cave. There are certain legal documents that may irrevocably waive your rights to the house, support, or any of the assets. He will have no problem taking the children and making you homeless. Do not sign anything or agree that anything without consulting an attorney. It is likely if he is making promises that it will be better that it is about to get worse so get help! Remember this quote: Never do something permanently stupid just because you are temporarily upset.

#12. YOU MUST PAY ME! Whether he has kicked you out of the house and is demanding that you pay half the mortgage, or he is living somewhere else and demanding that you pay a portion of his bills, you are likely a dependent spouse and owe him nothing! He likely owes you support (both spousal and child support). Do NOT send him money or pay him anything without speaking to an attorney first.

#13. YOU ARE CRAZY. NO ONE WILL BELIEVE YOU. YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ME. I DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU! YOU WILL GO TO HELL IF YOU DIVORCE ME. This is his biggest lie. He wants to keep you quiet so that he can keep you isolated and stuck in an abusive relationship. Your safety and freedom are important to us. You are not alone, and you can do this! Contact an attorney who is experienced in domestic violence, who will help you use your voice, stand beside you, & advocate for your rights & the rights of your children.