Family Lawyers Offer Legal Representation in Family Court
Even in the calmest of situations, divorce is a stressful process. Unfortunately, in some cases, the underlying relationship is far from calm. Domestic violence is estimated to impact ten million people each year – most of them women – and proceeding with a divorce of an abusive relationship can seem unbearable.
The family law attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C. are here to help you. KGG founding partner Paul Goldhamer will help guide you through the emotionally-draining and extremely complex experience of a domestic violence case.
Domestic violence lawyers serving New York & New Jersey
It cannot be stated enough: if your spouse is violent and you are in imminent danger, protect yourself first. That could mean calling the police, getting a restraining order, or even seeking shelter.
If you are not in serious danger of physical harm or abuse, speak with a domestic violence lawyer before leaving the family home. Leaving the home could impact your rights later on, when it comes time for the court to order alimony or a division of the property.
The New York courts also enter automatic orders when one spouse files divorce papers. These orders prevent either spouse from removing property from the home without the consent of the other. In New Jersey, however, there is no such automatic order, so a spouse needs to request a temporary order. You can limit some of the hassles that will arise by understanding how these factors will influence your case before you taking action.
Proceeding in court with a spousal abuse case
When domestic abuse is a component of a divorce, there are civil legal issues that a court must decide, such as the rights of each party to property and retirement accounts, child support and alimony. But domestic abuse can also be a crime.
If a divorce case also involves criminal charges against the alleged abuser, those claims may proceed in a separate court. Here are some of the differences to understand:
- Family court case: The victim is a party seeking civil remedies such as a restraining order, alimony, child support, and retention of the family home; the case may be resolved with the victim’s agreement.
- Criminal case: The state is a party and the victim is a witness; the abuser faces criminal penalties such as fines or imprisonment; the victim likely has limited input into how the case is resolved.
The legal team at KGG understands the questions that can arise when deciding where and how to file a case involving spousal abuse. Our Rockland County, NY and Bergen County, NJ domestic violence attorneys can walk you through the factors to take informed steps.
How can a domestic abuse lawyer help?
Many domestic abuse victims face common emotional issues. They are often afraid to leave or wonder if they will be taken seriously. Trusting an experienced divorce attorney who has handled many domestic violence cases is an important first step.
At the law offices of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, we understand how domestic violence impacts families and divorces. We advise clients who are escaping domestic violence on:
- Filing for a restraining order
- Implementing a safety plan
- Removing the abuser from the home
- Securing spousal support and child support
- Protecting the rights of the spouse and children now and in the future
Responding to domestic violence allegations
Domestic violence is a serious problem and should not be trivialized. At the same time, in some unfortunate cases, spouses may be unjustly accused of domestic abuse in order for the accuser to obtain the upper hand in court. Innocent spouses need to be aware of the consequences and the need to fight false accusation.
Some of the consequences that affect those accused of domestic abuse include:
- Loss of rights regarding child custody, living arrangements, and child support
- Criminal charges
- Counseling and anger management programs
- Damage to employment prospects
- Jeopardization of immigration status
Spouses accused of abusive behavior should speak with a professional as soon as possible to obtain a realistic evaluation of the case. In some cases, the best strategy is to move forward with counseling and work on repairing relationships. In other cases, it may necessary to fight the accusations vigorously or team up with a criminal defense lawyer.
Domestic violence attorney in Rockland County & Bergen County
KGG’s matrimonial lawyers work toward the best interests of families facing a diverse range of issues. We have been serving family law clients in New York and New Jersey for nearly four decades, including those affected by domestic violence.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation. Our flexible schedules are designed to meet your needs in our offices in Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ.
Additional Resources on Domestic Violence:
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Statistics, https://ncadv.org/learn-more/statistics
- City of New York, How do I get help if I am in an abusive relationship?, http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/faq/391/how-do-i-get-help-if-i-am-in-an-abusive-relationship
- New Jersey Courts, New Jersey Judiciary Domestic Violence