Suppose you’re a survivor of domestic violence. In that case, there are many things to consider: your safety, financial security, how you will care for your children and pets, where you live, and what kind of housing may be available.
A domestic violence lawyer can help you with all of these issues. They can also help you file for divorce and obtain restraining orders.
File for Divorce
Getting a restraining order is the first step to protecting yourself and your family from abuse. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from domestic violence have to go through this process several times before they are safe. On average, it takes seven attempts before an individual is free from their abusive partner. This can be frustrating for the abuser, who may file repeated motions to modify custody and visitation orders or harass children during court-ordered visits to get information about survivors (Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women).
A divorce lawyer can help victims of domestic violence who are in danger of being harmed by their spouse or co-parent. The lawyer can also help them resolve issues like spousal support, property division, and child custody. A family law attorney can provide legal expertise and emotional support throughout the divorce or dissolution.
A domestic violence lawyer near me needs to listen without judgment to a client who feels that it is unsafe to leave their home, particularly if the abuser has shown signs of genuine repentance or expressed remorse. They should respect the fact that a woman or man may have a difficult time leaving an abusive relationship and can offer resources for longer-term housing, financial assistance, and counseling services.
After a divorce case is filed, the papers must be served to the Defendant (the person against whom the claim has been made). This can be done by hand-delivering them or through other means.
Get a Restraining Order
When an individual feels they are in immediate danger of being hurt or killed, they can ask a judge for a protection order (restraining order). The process varies by jurisdiction but usually involves appearing at the courthouse and filing some paperwork. Some courts allow you to begin the process from home or online.
When you appear at the court to request a restraining order, you will be asked to tell the judge what has happened and why you feel you need this type of order. You will also be allowed to check off all the protections you want the court to include in the order. You should check all of the boxes that apply to your situation.
The court will then set a hearing for about three weeks to hear from you and the Defendant and decide on a final order of protection, which can last up to 5 years. During this time, the person with the order will be prohibited from coming near or harassing you. If they do, you can call the police immediately.
Your lawyer can help you navigate this whole process from start to finish. They can explain your rights, complete all necessary paperwork, and deal with the prosecutor on your behalf. A reasonable domestic violence attorney can design a case strategy in your best interests.
Talk to a Counselor
As a counselor, it’s essential to be aware that clients with a history of domestic violence can present with a variety of issues related to the situation. For example, a client may be struggling with posttraumatic stress disorder or symptoms like feeling unsafe, flashbacks, and being jumpy, as well as feelings of depression, emotional withdrawal, low self-esteem, and guilt.
Some survivors are reluctant to talk about their experiences, which is normal. When you work with these clients, be patient and allow them to tell their stories comfortably. Listen without judging or offering advice, and remember that this could be the first time they have shared their experience with someone outside of family members.
Survivors often come to counseling with questions and concerns about their legal options. This is where a skilled lawyer can help. They can explain your state’s various domestic violence laws and what to expect during a Court proceeding. They can also point you in the direction of resources and support services that can help you find a new home and rebuild your life after escaping an abusive relationship.
Counselors are often called on to help victims through the complex divorce process. They can assist with determining whether or not a divorce is in the best interests of the victim. They can help them navigate the many other complex issues that arise when leaving an abusive relationship – such as child custody, visitation and custody, child support, property division, and family court proceedings.
Contact a Lawyer
In the United States, a third of all women and a fourth of all men experience some form of domestic violence in their marriage or intimate partner relationship. Abuse can include physical harm, psychological abuse, and emotional manipulation. In addition, financial abuse is a common element of domestic violence. Abuse can lead to high medical costs, lost wages from time off work, and a loss of self-esteem for victims. Lawyers who specialize in domestic violence and related issues often help their clients obtain restraining orders, file for divorce, or recover compensation for medical treatment and other damages.
Domestic violence cases are taken very seriously by prosecutors and judges. A conviction can result in expensive fines, a criminal record that will affect your employment and professional licensing opportunities, and even jail time. An experienced New York City domestic violence defense lawyer can challenge the prosecution’s case to protect your family and career.
Domestic violence charges can be handled in family court or criminal court. If the alleged victim calls the police, the case is likely to be in criminal court; however, if a couple of files for divorce and their dispute involves custody, the allegations will likely be in family court. An experienced attorney can determine which type of court a case should be filed in and develop the best possible combination of available defenses.