Domestic Abuse is abuse that occurs between a married couple or between a parent or parents and children.  Domestic abuse can also take place between those who are cohabiting or who have cohabited. This means that if you have, or had, a girl friend or boy friend that is harassing you, the harassment could also fall under ‘domestic abuse’. There are other categories in which domestic abuse can occur, such as abuse that occurs between relatives, in-laws or those related by adoption.  The attorney can advise you as to whether your situation is a domestic abuse case or not.  Your first step is to consult with a Family Law Lawyer to discuss your particular situation.  If you feel that the situation is life threatening, you should immediately go to the police.

Abuse can take the form of physical violence, emotional abuse or child abuse. Domestic abuse cases take place in the Family Court unless it is determined that the abuse is criminal. A family law attorney can offer help to those with domestic abuse cases when the abuse is not criminal.  Usually, criminal abuse involves physical contact or violence.  If this occurs, your first step is to report it to the police.  However, if you are accused of Domestice Violence and are served with papers, you would need to consult with a Family Law Attorney in order to respond to the petition.  If you are arrested for Domestic Violence, you would need to consult with a criminal lawyer.
If you report the abuse to the police, they may instruct you to seek legal advice if the abuse is not determined to be criminal. If the abuse is determined to be criminal, then it is prosecuted in the criminal courts and, if successful, can result in jail time for the offending party.

An attorney can advise you as to how to handle domestic violence or abuse. You may require a domestic violence restraining order which will keep the offending party a certain distance from you, or from children or may require the offending party to vacate the family residence immediately. Some domestic violence restraining orders can be obtained within 24 hours.  If the court issues restraining orders, many times they will require the offending party to take anger management classes and show proof of completion.
For legal advice on domestic violence matters, please call Legal Action Workshop @ 800-HELP-444 (800-435-7444) or visit us a .

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