Victims of domestic violence can often feel trapped in the situation because children are involved, a lack of resources or simply fear of more abuse if the victim tries to leave. There are, of course, many self-help resources for victims of domestic violence such as the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Victims of domestic violence can – and should also call the police if they are subject to physical violence or threats of violence. In addition, victims of domestic violence may also want to consider retaining a family law attorney to help through this difficult time.
Here are five ways a family law attorney can help you if you are in a domestic violence situation:
Get a protection or restraining order in place. Victims of domestic violence can seek a protective order, also known as a restraining order, which may prohibit the abuser from making contact, coming within a certain distance of the victim or possessing firearms. There are certain instances where a protective order can also require the abuser to move out of a home that is shared with the victim.
File a domestic violence lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit allows a victim of domestic violence to recover for any medical expenses, financial loss or pain and suffering caused by domestic violence.
File for divorce. If the perpetrator is a spouse, a family law attorney can assist you through the divorce process, including your right to spousal support and receiving your share of marital property.
Work to get you custody of your children. If the abuser is also a parent of your children, a family law attorney can help you get custody of your child as well as child support from the other parent.
Represent you in court. A family law attorney will be your advocate in court, obtain and complete the required documentation and deal with the opposing side throughout the legal process.
Dealing with domestic violence can be challenging, both emotionally and legally. Having an experienced family law attorney on your side can help you secure the best outcome for yourself and your future.