How A Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help You

Posted on: 12 July 2016

If you are attempting to leave, or have just left, an abusive situation with your children, you need to contact a attorney who specifically works in the field of domestic violence. They can do a variety of things that will help you get out of the situation that you are currently dealing with. 

#1 Protective Order

The first thing that you need to do in order to protect your children and yourself from your abuser is obtain a restraining or protective order. The language used from this document varies from state to state, but the idea behind it is the same. They are legal documents that make it a criminal act for your abuser to make contact with you. Generally your abuser will also have to stay a certain distance away from you and in most states, will not be able to possess firearms, even if they already own them.

Getting a protective order in place will help you create physical distance and space between you and your abuser and allow you space to heal and move forward. 

#2 Child Custody

The second thing that you need to do is make sure that you, and not your partner, have physical custody of the children. Obtaining a protective order should help establish your case for getting sole legal and physical custody. You are going to want to find an attorney who can file a custody suit right away. A judge can grant you temporary physical and legal custody of the children while your custody case plays out in court.

An attorney who specializes in domestic violence will know how to show that your partner was, in fact, abusive and will be skilled with moving your case quickly through the court system so that your child is protected. 

#3 Divorce

If you are married to your partner who is abusing you, you are also going to want to move forward with divorce proceedings. When splitting up with an abusive partner, there is a strong chance that the divorce is not going to go smoothly. Your partner may fight your attempts to move forward with the divorce and may try to subject you to some of the same type of abuse they inflicted previously.

A domestic violence defense attorney will understand the challenges that you will face divorcing an abusive partner. They should be able to represent you in court and make it clear that all communications will go through them. They can protect you from your abuser as much as possible through the divorce process.

#4 Lawsuit

A fourth option that is not explored that often is filing a domestic violence lawsuit. Domestic violence lawsuits are a type of personal injury or civil lawsuit that are designed specifically for victims of domestic abuse. It allows you to sue your abuser for the pain and suffering that you went through as a result of their abuse. It also gives you a chance to be compensated for any medical expenses you injured because of their abuse, be it through mental health counseling or visits to the emergency room.

It also gives you a chance to be compensated for any financial losses you endured because of their abuse. For example, if they held you back from going to work or if you lost your house or your vehicle when you fled the situation you were in, you can seek compensation that way.

When dealing with a seriously abusive partner, it helps to have the law on your side. Contact Jeffrey D. Larson, Attorney at Law or another domestic violence attorney as soon as you can and see what legal protections they can put in place for you and for your children.