Protecting Your Rights – How a Family Law Attorney Can Help With Domestic Violence Cases

Domestic violence cases are often complex, whether criminal or family court matters. With the aid of a family law attorney, you can defend your rights in the best possible way.

Emotional abuse includes psychological or emotional harm, such as manipulation and causing you to have low self-esteem. Your attorney can help you obtain an order of protection that legally restrains an abusive individual.

Child Custody and Visitation

Intimate partner violence affects women and men, young and old. A family law attorney can assist victims seeking to remove an abusive spouse or partner from their home by obtaining a court order of protection. Sometimes, a lawyer can help with other legal matters, such as child custody and visitation issues.

Custody of children typically involves a judge making decisions based on the child’s best interests. Judges can order both parents to submit a proposed parenting plan and may look at evidence such as school records, psychological assessments, and medical reports before deciding.

If a parent has experienced domestic abuse or fears that an ex-partner could harm the child, the victim can request supervised visitation or no visits. A family law Hernando County FL attorney can assist victims in navigating the complicated legal system to seek custody or visitation adjustments. This requires proving there is a substantial change in circumstances.

Orders of Protection

An order of protection is a legal document in which a Judge tells your abuser to follow specific behavior conditions, including staying away from you, your family and your place of employment. It can also allow police to make immediate arrests if the abuser violates these conditions.

You can file an order of protection in either Criminal Court or Family Court. In criminal cases, you can request one by calling the police or going to the Court Dispute Referral Center. In Family Court, you must file a petition alleging a family offense. The petition must include a complaint of sexual assault, stalking, harassment or other crimes against you and any children you have with your spouse. The judge may award an Interim Order of Protection when you file your petition. This order, which is in effect until your court date, can be extended. Depending on the gravity of the circumstance, a judge may issue a final order valid for two or five years.

False Accusations

Domestic violence is a serious problem and needs to be taken seriously, but some people are willing to use false accusations of abuse as a weapon. They may mistake the behavior of a significant other for something threatening or violent, or they might be vengeful and want to destroy their ex’s life.

Even if the accused is not convicted, the false accusation can ruin their reputation and cost them their jobs, homes, and trust among friends and family. They may also lose sole or partial custody of their children, which can devastate any parent.

A family law attorney can help defend against false claims of domestic violence. They understand the serious consequences of these allegations and can develop a strong defense strategy to protect their client. They can also advise clients to handle interactions with accusers by only meeting them in public places or bringing a friend or a trusted third party.

Modifications of Custody or Visitation

Custody and visitation orders are rarely set in stone. Parents’ lives change; what worked for a two-year-old may not work for a 16-year-old. Nevertheless, the court will only approve a modification with good reason. This means that to justify the shift, a parent must demonstrate a major change in the child’s or their own lives. This can include changes in living arrangements, a new job for one parent or even an improvement in the victim’s health.

Emotional abuse can also constitute a significant change in circumstances. This can be anything from humiliation, manipulation or making the victim feel worthless. It can also involve threats or intimidation, both serious crimes. A family law attorney can assist you if you need assistance defending yourself against domestic violence.  You should also seek assistance from a local agency that can provide resources to help you get to safety. Legal aid offices are a great resource, as they typically offer free legal services to low-income people.