Domestic Violence

Few issues so traumatically impact relationships and families as does domestic violence. As with so many issues involved in divorce or cessation of a relationship, domestic violence may or may not play a significant role in the legal process depending upon the exact circumstances. In some cases criminal proceedings may play a parallel process to the divorce case and may need to thus be considered in the overall divorce process. Domestic violence can have a serious impact in cases involving child custody and visitation determinations.

Domestic violence has at its heart an on-going pattern of control of one party by the other. This control is demonstrated by physical, psychological and emotional abuse. Domestic violence may play a very significant role in the emotional and psychological aspects of divorce. Many victims of domestic violence leave a marriage because of the abuse. Alternatively, many other victims of domestic violence stay in the marriage because of the abuse, knowing that an attempt at separation might result in an escalation of all aspects of the violence. An experienced family law attorney must recognize these patterns and approach the cases with the emotional history in proper perspective.

If you or family members are victims of domestic violence, Daniel Geraldi can help obtain Court orders to protect you. These orders could include a “Kick-Out Order” or “Temporary Restraining Order” (TRO). They may direct the abuser not to approach you and/or your family members, your home, work, vehicle, schools and daycare facility. They may also prohibit a person from making any efforts to communicate with the victim. A kick-out order evicts the abuser from the family home. Generally, the TRO lasts until the next scheduled court hearing, during which time the judge will rule whether to continue or terminate the restraining order. If the person who is restrained violates the order, they can be charged with committing a crime.

If you decide to seek a restraining order, it is important to do so at the earliest possible time. Not only does this provide immediate protection, but the Court will consider any time lag between the violence and the request for orders in determining whether to grant the actual orders.

As with many other aspects in the law, a restraining order can be sought for improper or the wrong reasons. Occasionally, they are sought based on either false or inflated grounds in order for one party to gain a tactical advantage over the other party in their related legal proceedings. If a restraining order has been issued against you, you will be required by law to fill out and file an “Answer to Temporary Restraining Order” prior to the hearing. However, until that hearing it is vitally important that you adhere to all aspect of the temporary orders, even if you believe they have been wrongly issued or are unjust. This is something you need to take very seriously. If the allegations are proven, or if you have been found in violation of the temporary orders, it will most certainly affect any Court ruling on custody and visitation and could even result in an arrest and incarceration.

Hiring a competent attorney as soon as possible can make all the difference to the family law judge in making domestic violence restraining orders. Daniel Geraldi is very experienced at obtaining and defending against such orders. If you have further questions relating to this area of the law, contact him at (925) 236-0045.