When we plan down to walk the aisle and say “I do” to our partner, most of us never imagine needing help from a divorce lawyer, much less domestic violence attorneys. But statistics show that nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute in the United States. That number doesn’t even account for the individuals who experience verbal abuse by their partners.
The tragic reality is that abusive perpetrators can be incredibly skilled at both hiding these situations from public view and in retaining control of their victims — whether it be through mental manipulation, physical threats, or financial restrictions. It speaks to the immense strength of victims who are able to successfully remove themselves from these dangerous situations. But even if you are able to physically leave, you may still be legally tied to your abuser.
That’s where domestic violence attorneys come in. Although criminal charges may sometimes be able to be filed against those who are accused of domestic abuse, that may not always be an option — and in some cases, the victim may not want to pursue it. However, a domestic violence attorney can still provide a substantial amount of help for those who are trying to divorce their abusive spouses and take back their lives. Here are just a few ways in which your domestic violence lawyer can provide assistance during a crucial time.
Domestic Violence Attorneys Can Help With…
- Obtaining a protection or restraining order: One of the most important in securing your safety upon leaving a domestic violence situation is to pursue an order of protection (sometimes called a restraining order) against your spouse or partner. If you’re thinking of filing a restraining order in NJ, a lawyer can help you ensure that all documentation is in order. This can potentially increase the chance that the order — which could prohibit the abuser from making contact with the victim or even prohibit them from being close by — will be granted.
- Filing a lawsuit against your abuser: In certain instances, it may be appropriate to file a lawsuit against your abuser in an attempt to recover a financial loss, medical expenses, or pain and suffering attributed to the abuse you’ve endured. An attorney can help you throughout this process and protect your rights if you decide to file a civil suit to recover damages.
- Filing for divorce from your abuser: Of course, not all divorces involve domestic violence. However, fully extricating yourself from your abuser will often require a legal dissolution of a marriage. Your lawyer can provide assistance in this matter and ensure your interests are protected, particularly when it comes to the division of shared property and the ongoing safety of everyone else in the household.
- Working to secure child custody: If you and your abuser share children, your domestic violence lawyer can also work to secure custodial arrangements for your kids that will keep them safe. Your lawyer will also be able to help with negotiating spousal support, in many cases.
Certainly, divorce is never an easy task. That’s especially true for victims of domestic violence. But with an experienced attorney by your side, you can feel confident in knowing your rights will be protected and that you’ll be guided through the process step by step. Ultimately, this will allow you to prioritize your own safety and the safety of others you love. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact our firm today.