Domestic Violence Injunctions
Domestic violence poses physical and emotional harm, and it can even be life-threatening. It often goes under-reported because people are scared to come forward and are not sure what can be done to get meaningful protection. New Jersey law takes domestic violence very seriously. It can provide protection through court-issued domestic violence injunctions that are enforceable by the police. Injunctions affect victims’ and offenders’ lives in the short and long term because they can be achieved quickly and then extended. If you or a loved one has been affected by domestic violence, it is important to understand your possible recourse under the law. Bergen County domestic violence attorney Howard B. Leopold can assist you with these matters during a divorce or in its aftermath. Leopold Law offers advice and representation to residents of communities throughout Northern New Jersey.Protections from Domestic Violence in New Jersey
Protection from abuse in New Jersey can be pursued through the criminal justice system, by charging the abuser with a crime; people who are found guilty can be sentenced to jail and fined. Victims of domestic violence can also pursue, through the civil legal system, remedies like a restraining order forbidding entry into their homes and further contact. When the victim and the offender have children, courts can intervene with respect to child custody, child support, spousal support, and other matters. New Jersey law also can be used to help protect people from cyber-harassment, which is an increasing problem in the digital age.
New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act can be used to help people secure domestic violence injunctions in situations such as when they are or were married to the abuser, when they have a child or are expecting a child with the abuser or are pregnant, when they have had a dating relationship with the abuser, or when they presently live or formerly lived with the abuser. This Act applies to abusers who are over the age of 18 or who are emancipated minors. Abusers who are minors under 18 can be addressed via reports to local police.
A temporary restraining order (TRO) can be sought on the basis of allegations of one or more acts of domestic violence against the party seeking the TRO. Protections can include:
- The seizure of the abuser’s weapons;
- An order forbidding the abuser from contact with the person seeking the TRO, their relatives, and other people at risk;
- The abuser being forbidden from entering a home or other locations where abuse is alleged to have occurred;
- Temporary financial support for the abused person and children; and
- Temporary possession by the abused person of cars, keys, passports, checkbooks, and other materials that may be needed.
The protections can be extended from a TRO to a final restraining order (FRO). An FRO hearing is typically set for within 10 days of when a TRO is obtained, and it provides the alleged abuser with an opportunity to tell their version of events. Both sides can testify and present witnesses. Among the matters that need to be resolved are whether there is a need for an FRO based on anticipated danger, since a TRO can be based on a single act of domestic violence, and an FRO can be in effect permanently unless it is vacated by court order. TROs and FROs are enforceable throughout New Jersey by police, regardless of the county in which they are ordered, and nationwide. They are also available regardless of the victim’s immigration status. However, if that is an issue, you may wish to consult an immigration attorney as well.Discuss Your Needs with a Family Law Attorney in Bergen County
Domestic violence poses a grave danger. Fortunately, it can be discussed with an attorney on a privileged and confidential basis. If you have questions about domestic violence issues, call us at (201) 345-5907 for a free consultation or use our online form to schedule an appointment with a Bergen County lawyer. Howard B. Leopold can provide legal guidance in connection with domestic violence injunctions and related matters in a contested divorce or another family law proceeding. Leopold Law can guide people throughout Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, and Essex Counties, including in Hackensack, Englewood, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, New Milford, Dumont, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Paramus, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Fair Lawn, Fairview, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glen Rock, Hasbrouck Heights, Hillsdale, Little Ferry, North Arlington, Oakland, Palisades Park, Ridgewood, River Edge, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Tenafly, Wallington, Westwood, Wyckoff, Jersey City, Paterson, and Newark.