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About Domestic Violence

Monroe Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence occurs when two people are in a personal relationship and one of the people uses a pattern of coercion and control against the other person; this can occur while the relationship exists or even after it has already been terminated. Domestic violence frequently involves physical, sexual, emotional, or economic abuse; therefore, it is not limited to physical violence alone.

Domestic violence occurs within all types of family situations and relationships. People of all races, social status, class, marital status, sexual orientation, age and sex can be either perpetrators or victims of domestic violence, and in many cases domestic violence can be traced back to generations of family violence where the abusive behavior is passed down from generation to generation.

Domestic violence is a global epidemic that affects everyone, and it's a common misconception that if things were really bad then the victims should be able to leave but they choose not to. There are a lot of reasons why someone, particularly a woman may not leave. Often times leaving is the most dangerous time for a woman that is being abused. (United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey, 1995)

Domestic Violence: North Carolina Law

In North Carolina, domestic violence is covered under § 50B-1, it states that domestic violence means the commission of one or more of the following acts upon the victim or upon a minor child living with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by someone with whom the victim has or has had a personal relationship; however, it does not include self-defense:

  • Attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury
  • Placing the victim or a member of their household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment to such an extent as to inflict serious emotional distress

Under North Carolina law, domestic violence occurs between: 1) current or former spouses, 2) people of the opposite sex who either live together or have lived together, 3) parents and children or grandparents and grandchildren, 4) current or former household members, 5) people of the opposite sex who are dating or who were formally dating, and 6) people who have a child together.

Taking Legal Action

Any victim of domestic violence in North Carolina may seek relief by filing a civil action or by filing a motion in any existing action alleging acts of domestic violence against himself or herself or a minor child who is in the person's custody. In such a case, the aggrieved (victim) party is entitled to relief and may file a civil action. Any action for a domestic violence protective order mandates that a summons must be issued and served upon the alleged abuser. Under § 50B-2, is states that the summons issued shall require that the defendant answer within 10 days of the date of service.

The aggrieved party may seek emergency relief if he or she is believed to be in danger of immediate injury to himself or herself or their minor child, in which case the hearing must be held after five days' notice of the hearing to the other party, or after five days from the date the other party was served, whichever comes first. If the aggrieved party is not seeking an ex parte hearing (judicial proceeding reserved for urgent matters where notice would subject the victim to irreparable harm), the court shall schedule a hearing within the allotted time limit covered under the section.

After the court examines the facts and it is determined that the aggrieved party or the minor child is in serious danger, the court may enter whichever orders it deems necessary to protect the aggrieved party or the minor child from the abuser. The court may order a temporary order for custody ex parte prior to the service of process, unless the court finds the child is in substantial risk of abuse, in which case the court shall order the other party to stay away from the child, or it may order the abuser not to remove the child from the other parent.

Monroe Domestic Violence Attorney

If the court finds that domestic violence has occurred, the court shall grant a protective order that restrains the defendant (abuser) from committing further acts of domestic violence. A protective order can direct the other party from refraining from abuse; it can grant possession of the home to the victim and tell the abuser to leave; it can require the abuser to provide alternate housing for the spouse and his or her children; it can award temporary custody of the minor children; it can order either party to make spousal or child support payments, or both; it can award attorney fees to either party; and it can prohibit the abuser from purchasing a firearm among any other conditions the court deems relevant to the case.

If you or your minor children are a victim of domestic violence, or if you are being accused of domestic violence, it's critical that you speak with a Monroe domestic violence lawyer from Collins Family Law Group. These cases are very sensitive in nature and can have very serious consequences from both a criminal defense and a family law perspective. For over 20 years we've been working with the local courts and we are here to be your greatest advocate and to provide you with the highly quality legal representation your situation demands.

Collins Family Law Group - Monroe Divorce Attorney
Located at 112 North Main Street, Monroe, NC 28112.
Phone: (704) 269-6697.
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