Legal Information: Federal


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How can I support myself and my children if I leave my husband?

There are many organizations that can help you figure out how you can support yourself if you leave. Look for a list of local shelters and domestic violence organizations on the Advocates and Shelters page for your state under the Places that Help tab at the top of the page.

You may be able to collect child support from the father of your children, even if you are living apart, even if you were never married to him, and no matter what your immigration status is. Some married women also may be eligible to receive spousal support or alimony.

If you are a lawful permanent resident, you may use your “green card” or resident alien card to demonstrate your eligibility to work. You will also be able to work if you have an approved VAWA petition or T-Visa. Also, if you are the spouse of certain non-immigrant professionals, you may be able to get work authorization if you can demonstrate that during the marriage you or a child have been battered or subject to extreme cruelty by the person with the principal non-immigrant visa. Refugees and other immigrants must apply for authorization to work. It is very important that you do not use false papers to work or make false claims of United States citizenship.

WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.