Domestic Violence Hearings: What Are They & How To Prepare
The process can be extremely daunting, to say the least, and if you are a victim of domestic violence it may be helpful to understand what happens after you call the police or contact an attorney for a restraining order.
What Is A Domestic Violence Hearing?
When you file for a domestic violence restraining order, typically with the assistance of an attorney, a court hearing will be scheduled at a future date to hear the case and make a decision. That court hearing is known as a domestic violence hearing.
At your domestic violence hearing, a judge will hear from both sides and then make a decision about whether or not there is enough evidence to issue a protective order.
Protective orders (AKA restraining orders) prohibit an abuser from contacting a victim in any way and also from coming within a certain distance of the victim. These orders apply to wherever the victim is–work, home, out of state, etc–and if the abuser violates the order they can be sent to jail.
Additionally, if you have children, the judge may order that sole custody be awarded to you to protect the children from a potentially abusive parent and/or from witnessing any further abuse to you. A lot depends on the evidence presented and how well-prepared you and your attorney are to make your case.
Preparing For A Domestic Violence Hearing
The best way to prepare for a domestic violence hearing is to work with an experienced family law attorney and follow all of their recommendations as closely as possible.
Among other things, you will need to:
- Provide the court with a complete history of your relationship with the abuser, including any evidence of past abuse
- Take photographs of any and all injuries
- Present any medical records related to your injuries
- Be prepared to give the court concrete details about the incident where you were abused, such as the date, time, and location of the incident
Your lawyer may also advise you to seek emergency financial support at your hearing. If so, you’ll also need to testify and provide evidence regarding your financial needs. This will include items like rent, child care costs, food, insurance, etc.
Getting Help For Your Domestic Violence Hearing
Dealing with domestic violence can be a very frightening and traumatic experience. It is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence feel helpless and powerless to stop their abuser.
In many cases, it can be much easier and less stressful to let a competent attorney handle the legal aspects of obtaining a restraining order and helping you with any hearings and court appearances that might be required.
If you need help with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order or hearing, please contact us today for immediate assistance.
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At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.
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