Domestic Violence Victim FAQ’s

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is defined as any kind of physical, mental, emotional, or psychological abuse that is threatened or deliberately or recklessly inflicted on a spouse, ex, dating partner, co-parent, child, or blood relative.

How do I get a restraining order?

There are two ways to get a restraining order: you can have the police request an emergency order when they respond to your domestic violence call, or you can request one from the court yourself with the help of an attorney.

How long do restraining orders last?

Emergency protective orders last just 5 days, since their purpose is simply to keep you safe from imminent danger until you have time to go to court. Temporary restraining orders last 21 days. They can be issued without the abuser being present at the hearing. Permanent restraining orders can last 5 years. The abuser will have the opportunity to defend themselves before a permanent order is issued.

How do I keep my child safe from a domestic abuser?

The law takes the safety of children very seriously. You can protect your children by having them included in your restraining order, as well as by petitioning for modifications to any custody or visitation agreements that put them in contact with an abuser.

What if I can’t afford to leave my abuser?

If you are divorcing or becoming legally separated from your abuser, you may qualify for temporary spousal support payments that will give you the financial freedom you need to move out.

What should I do if I’ve been accused of domestic violence?

If you are facing allegations of domestic violence, you need to get an attorney on your side. If criminal charges are filed, you will need a criminal defense attorney. If the allegations have come up as part of your divorce or custody battle, you will need a family law attorney. At the Law Office of Michael L. Fell, we can fill both roles for you.

Who pays the legal fees in a domestic violence restraining order case?

If you are successful in securing a restraining order, you can ask the judge to have your abuser pay your legal fees and costs. The judge will automatically order this if you cannot afford your fees due to low income. If you are not successful in securing the restraining order, the judge may actually order you to pay your abuser’s legal fees.