Most couples fight at least a few times over the course of their relationship – but there is a difference between a healthy, heated argument every now and then and vicious, repeated patterns of spousal abuse. Domestic violence takes many forms, from verbal intimidation to physical assault, and recent statistics show it’s a lot more common than many people think.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that 20 people are abused by an intimate partner every minute in the United States. Unfortunately, New York is no exception: The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence counted 280,995 calls placed to domestic violence hotline centers in 2014.
Domestic violence can lead to a range of legal complications, involving civil cases and criminal charges, which is why New York implemented the Integrated Domestic Violence Court system. In this court, one judge will consider all matters related to a single family’s case of domestic abuse – ensuring that all victims within the family are properly cared for, and that perpetrators are adequately penalized and rehabilitated.
If you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, contact a Staten Island divorce attorney from the Elliot Green Law Offices to get help applying for an order of protection. Elliot Green is an experienced family lawyer who will guide you through the integrated domestic violence court system.
Call 718-260-8668 to schedule a free consultation. You can also visit USAttorneys.com to learn more about domestic violence laws and divorce proceedings in New York.
What Does an Order of Protection Include – and Are There Consequences If You Disobey It?
Cases of domestic violence are often complicated, but if there is one simple rule that applies to all of them, it is that the court has an obligation to protect the victims. According to Article Eight of New York’s Family Court Act, an order of protection is designed to safeguard a victim of domestic violence against being targeted by the accused after a charge or claim has been made.
This means that an order of protection is a tool you can use to prevent your abuser from approaching or contacting you. If you are being abused by your spouse or intimate partner, you could ask the court to order that your partner:
- May not approach a specific location, such as your school or workplace;
- May only visit your child or children at specific times or places or under supervision;
- May not intimidate you, your friends or members of your family;
- May remove his or her belongings from your residence;
- May not interact with your child in a threatening way;
- And must pay spousal support or legal costs relating to the case at hand.
The court will also ensure that these provisions are no empty threats. There are serious legal consequences for violating an order of protection in New York. If your abusive partner disregards the instructions of your protective order, he or she could be arrested and spend time behind bars.
The court will also do its best to ensure you are kept safe while the case is ongoing – for instance, if you need to collect your personal items from your partner’s home, you may ask the police to escort you. You should also report any and all of his or her infractions as they occur. If you feel your spouse has breached the terms of your order of protection, notify a divorce attorney immediately.
Were you hurt during a disagreement with your partner? Contact the Elliot Green Law Offices.
A Staten Island divorce attorney will evaluate your case and provide legal guidance. Call 718-260-8668 today to schedule a free initial consultation.