😢 I’m a Victim of Domestic Violence. How Can an Attorney Help?
Sadly, the rate of domestic violence continues to be high in Florida and across the U.S. Each year, over 100,000 domestic crimes are reported to authorities, which means the true number of cases is actually higher.
While it is common for individuals accused of domestic violence to seek a lawyer to defend against charges, it is not as common for the victims to do so. But it can be argued that the victim needs access to legal services more than the alleged aggressor.
An attorney can be very helpful in many ways to victims of domestic violence:
Restraining orders are perhaps the most common type of protection victims use when they experience or are in imminent danger of experiencing domestic violence. Although filing a petition for domestic violence is free and can be done without a lawyer, the initial filing is not the end of the story. After filing, a judge will eventually schedule a return hearing sometime after the initial restraining paperwork has been served.
During this hearing, the judge will hear arguments from both sides as to the validity, or lack thereof, of the restraining order. During this court appearance, an attorney can be of great help to a domestic violence victim to convince the judge that the order is necessary.
Dealing with Parallel Legal Problems
Domestic violence does not usually exist in a vacuum. In most cases, other legal processes are typically implicated or in play when a domestic violence incident occurs, which means victims need representation for more than just a restraining order.
Issues such as living situations, children, and financial matters come into play when a person looks to escape an abuser. Without representation, a victim may continue to face unfavorable consequences during the settling of these matters.
Believe it or not, some victims of domestic violence face disrespect and difficulty from the same authorities and institutions tasked to protect them. A domestic violence victim may face skepticism, doubt, or downright disbelief from law enforcement and the courts when seeking protection. However, with an attorney on their side, the law and courts take notice.
Future Guidance and Planning
Situations of domestic violence are usually only remedied after extensive changes to the victim’s life. These changes and adjustments uniformly involve planning and decision-making that will affect not only the victim’s life, rights, and obligations but those of their children and the aggressor as well.
For example, after aiding a domestic violence victim with short-term solutions such as a restraining order, an experienced family attorney can then help the victim address long-term issues in a thoughtful and strategic manner, including work, living, employment, and custody issues.
An Attorney Can Help You
If you have ever said to yourself or others, “I’m a victim of domestic violence. How can an attorney help?”, then know that there are many ways an attorney can help you take advantage of resources that will help safeguard you in the future. Don’t wait to get help if you are in danger of or have recently experienced a domestic violence incident. Reach out to The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm today for help.