We typically only represent survivors of domestic violence. However, sometimes we will represent defendants in cases where a restraining order is being used as a method to exploit and abuse the defendant with false allegations. In these instances, I’m making a very narrow exception and I require potential clients to sit down with me and convince me these allegations are false.
With restraining orders, parents can be granted up to a year of custody. Due to this, many people pursue restraining orders because it’s a cheap and easy way to get custody without going through the lengthy custody process.
Now, that is not to say that I have never represented someone that was a domestic violence abuser. I did while I was at the public defender’s office, but I have certainly changed my approach to who I am willing to represent. After being involved in the court system for this period, I have become involved with a local non-profit that assists folks that are survivors of domestic violence.
How Is Domestic Violence Defined In North Carolina And How Does It Generally Intersect Or Bleed Into Family Law Matters?
Domestic violence is the physical or emotional harm to another and it requires a domestic relationship. A domestic relationship may be a dating relationship, a marriage, having a child together, or household members. It connects with family cases because of child custody issues, financial issues, home safety issues, and property division issues.
Is An Order Of Protection Or A Restraining Order Always Put In Place When Domestic Violence Related Charges Are Filed In North Carolina?
An order of protection or restraining order is not necessarily put in place after a domestic violence charge. It is dependent on whether or not you can prove that a domestic violence incident has occurred. When someone files for domestic violence, they have the opportunity to tell the court their side of the story without the court hearing from the accused party at all. At that point, the court will make a determination of whether or not they’re satisfied with the claims and deem it necessary to put a temporary order in place. An initial temporary order to protect a victim of domestic violence will be active for ten days until a follow-up court date. This hearing will then decide whether or not an order for one year should be put in place. There are circumstances where a party may choose not to seek the one-year protective order because they are able to gain valuable concessions in other areas. Each case is unique and we will discuss your circumstances individually to help you decide how you navigate the long term impacts of surviving domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Allegations Were Made Against Me. Is There Any Way I Can Still Have Access To My Children Or Does That Person Who’s Being Charged Or Accused Automatically Lose Or Is An Order Of Protection Include The Children?
If there’s an ex-parte order or an order when you did not attend a hearing, you may not have access to your children for up to 10 days or longer. The order of protection may include children if filed for properly.
You should have an opportunity to be heard on child custody on the very first hearing. However, when the court enters an order of child custody in a domestic violence case, this does not mean the child custody order is permanent. A child custody order from a Domestic Violence action is only good for up to one year, and this cannot be extended. Also, once a Chapter 50 Child Custody Action is filed, it will supersede any child custody provisions in the domestic violence order. A Chapter 50 Child Custody Action is a more thorough evaluation of the child custody situation between parties.