Domestic Violence Lawyer Fairfax, VA
If you are the victim of domestic violence, you have the option to file for a Protective Order in court. Protective Orders, known in some other states as “restraining orders,” come in three different types in Virginia. An Emergency Protective Order generally lasts for about 72 hours after being officially issued. A Preliminary Protective Order can last around 15 days, or until a court date in which you and the other party will present arguments and evidence for and against a Protective Order. If granted after the hearing, a Final Protective Order can last up to two years. A good domestic violence lawyer Fairfax VA knows the best strategies to pursue and defend in Protective Order cases.
There is no cost to filing for a Protective Order, but it is important to have legal representation at any court hearing. Hiring a competent domestic violence lawyer Fairfax VA will give you the best chance at getting a Protective Order and a favorable outcome, or defending against one if someone accuses of you of domestic violence. If a person who is the subject of a Protective Order stops obeying the order and threatens you, contact law enforcement right away. They will arrest the individual, and he or she may be charged with a crime. You may also want to contact a domestic violence lawyer Fairfax VA to explain your rights in this situation. Similarly, if you are subject to a Protective Order and you are charged with violating it, contact a domestic violence lawyer Fairfax VA right away because this can lead to jail time!
Protective Orders issued in one state must be honored and enforced in other states. Moreover, sometimes Protective Order issues can be resolved amicably between parties without the need for formal court hearings. Our lawyers have handled all manner of Protective Order cases. Our domestic violence lawyer Fairfax VA are experts in their field and will be able to clarify any questions you might have.
Domestic violence is a serious matter and Virginia takes it very seriously. For example, Virginia has recently changed its laws with respect to the interplay between domestic violence situations and guns. Although Virginia is known as a state that is more favorable to the rights of gun owners, once a Protective Order is issued this can have ramifications on concealed carry permits and even the ability to possess weapons. A good domestic violence lawyer Fairfax VA has a thorough understanding of these issues and will be able to advise you so that you are not potentially charged with crimes. If you have any questions or concerns about how Virginia law prohibits domestic abusers from possessing guns, and how that law may differ from federal law, you should schedule a consultation with a domestic violence lawyer Fairfax VA.
Domestic violence situations are emotionally distressing. Often, it is a person you know and love who is hurting you. You may feel hesitant going to court or contacting law enforcement out of fear or guilt. Please understand that what you are going through is not your fault, and that it is perfectly reasonable to seek help for your own safety. Hiring a domestic violence lawyer Fairfax VA means you will have someone on your side to advocate for you when you may feel too intimidated to do so.
By the same token, sometimes people are wrongfully accused of domestic violence, and that too is emotionally distressing. A domestic violence lawyer Fairfax VA has been on both sides of these situations and can advise you as to possible defenses.
Creating a Domestic Violence Safety Plan
A compassionate domestic violence lawyer for Fairfax, VA understands the strength it takes to leave an abusive romantic relationship; it is one of the most courageous actions an individual can embrace. There are a host of reasons why leaving such a situation requires determination and bravery. Chief among these concerns is ensuring your safety and the safety of any minor children you may need to safeguard from your abuser.
Please know that though this process can be intimidating, there are ways to accomplish it safely and successfully and May Law, LLP wants to help. We hope that you will reach out to our firm (using a safe and secure method of communication that your abuser cannot trace) with any questions you may have as you make plans. Speaking with a domestic violence lawyer serving Fairfax, VA is confidential and does not commit you to take any legal action against your abuser, so please do not hesitate to safely voice your questions at any time they may occur to you. Among other services you may benefit from, once we understand the particulars of your situation, we would be happy to help you construct a safety plan should you be interested in creating one.
The Basics of Safety Planning
When planning to leave your abusive situation, it is important to store valuable information in ways that are protected. You will benefit from ensuring that everything from your photographs to your financial information is secured in the cloud. That way, it remains portable and accessible anywhere you go. Take care to begin transferring this data on a computer that your abuser does not have access to, as you do not want to have suspicious activity within your browser history that could provoke your abuser’s anger. Please make special efforts to secure any information that could be later used as evidence if you decide to pursue legal action against your abuser, ideally with the help of a Fairfax, VA domestic violence lawyer. You may also need to provide information related to a child custody dispute in the wake of your decision to leave.
It is also going to be helpful to open up a bank account and a line of credit in your own name before leaving, if doing so is possible, practical and will not endanger you or your kids. If your abuser has no access to these financial accounts, you will have an easier time (in a host of practical ways) once you are on your own.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If your life is being impacted by domestic violence, please consider connecting with a domestic violence lawyer from our Fairfax, VA firm in a secure way. If you are at all concerned that your email is being monitored, your phone is being monitored or you are at risk of being watched, be exceptionally careful in your methods of communication. A good option may be to contact us via a new email account that your abuser has no knowledge of. If you access this email account via a secure computer at your workplace or a public library, you may be able to contact us in a low-risk way. A new, secure email account may also allow you to connect with other resources as you have need of them. A domestic violence lawyer for Fairfax, VA will be happy to speak with you and to help you move forward with your life in safe and healthy ways. Reach out to us at May Law, LLP today.
Can Child Custody Be Impacted by Domestic Violence?
When a romantic relationship is impacted by domestic violence or accusations of domestic violence, the ripple effect of that reality is felt by more people than the two people directly participating in the relationship. When an individual is being horrifically wronged, either by suffering abuse or unfounded accusations of abuse, everyone who cares about that person becomes connected to the situation in some way. This is an especially challenging reality for any minor children affected by the abuse of a parent or the alienation of a parent via unfounded accusations.
There are certainly times when domestic violence or accusations of violence impact child custody cases. But this impact is not a forgone conclusion. No matter what circumstances a family is facing, American child custody cases are determined according to the “best interests of the child” standard. If a judge believes that an abuser or accused abuser is likely to harm the affected child or compromise that child’s best interests, then the related child custody orders will reflect that belief. But not every judge determines that abuse of a romantic partner or accusations of abuse necessitate compromised custody rights. It is in this way that the best interests of the child standard is objectively noble but subjectively applied. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to connect with an experienced Fairfax, VA domestic violence lawyer if you have concerns that either violence or accusations of violence could impact your child custody situation.
Thinking About a Child’s Best Interests
The subjective application of the best interests of the child standard is a “for better and for worse” reality. When abuse or abuse accusations impact the relationship between two parents, they are less likely to mediate or negotiate the terms of their child’s custody arrangements. This is perfectly understandable and even an intelligent approach, depending on the details surrounding the parents’ relationship. However, the choice to avoid settling matters between themselves means that a judge will have to make a best interests determination based upon his or her own judgment.
For obvious reasons, not all judges perceive family disputes in the same way and not all judges prioritize the same values. Some judges are eager to keep children away from suspected or convicted abusers while others believe that keeping parents involved in their children’s lives is a paramount concern. It is therefore important for parents affected by domestic violence or unfounded accusations to speak with an experienced Fairfax, VA domestic violence lawyer in order to obtain a better sense of how their unique situation will resolve.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have questions about child custody matters, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with an experienced Fairfax, Virginia domestic violence lawyer. If you have concerns that meeting with an attorney will lead to an unsafe situation for you, consider contacting May Law, LLP in a secure manner. Connecting with our firm via a secure computer at a public library through an email account your child’s other parent has no knowledge of may be a viable option.
Contacting a Fairfax, VA domestic violence lawyer does not compel you to take any legal action whatsoever. And consultations are generally confidential, so please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have. Child custody matters are uniquely stressful, personal challenges to navigate. You do not need to navigate yours alone. Seeking legal guidance and support may benefit you even more than you suspect it might.