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In New York, domestic violence is a heinous crime that leads to the victim feeling unsafe in their own home. These criminal acts are most often associated with spouses or romantic partners. However, these individuals aren’t the only victims in these cases. The following are details pertaining to these criminal infractions in connection to a divorce case.
Identifying All Possible Victims
As stated above, spouses and romantic partners aren’t the only victims of domestic violence. It is referred to as domestic violence since it can involve members of the same household. This includes but is not limited to children, siblings, parents, and individuals who lived in this household previously. Former spouses and romantic partners are also included.
Filing a Report for Domestic Violence
The victim must contact their local law enforcement agency to report these criminal acts. By filing the report, they generate a paper trail that outlines the entire case. If the victim is the spouse or child of the attacker, formal charges must be filed immediately. This swift action provides them with the opportunity to secure a protection order.
Filing for Divorce and Securing a Protection Order
If the victim is the spouse, they need to contact an attorney to file a divorce petition quickly. By filing, the court is aware of their intention to end their marriage from their attacker. Once the petition is filed, the terms of the petition can be enforced by local law agencies. The terms will include a clause that states the exact properties in which each party will live after the divorce. Once this is filed, by law the spouse cannot visit the home of the victim without their consent.
In addition to filing for the divorce, they need an order of protection. This court order provides immediate protection for the victim and makes all violations of this order a criminal act. If the spouse fails to comply with the terms of the order of protection, they are arrested immediately and charged accordingly.
What are the Most Common Terms of a Protection Order?
The defendant is prohibited from visiting the home or work location of the victim. They are not allowed to visit areas in which the victim may visit frequently. Some orders may indicate a distance defining how far away from the victim the defendant must remain.
Any risky behaviors or habits that contributed to domestic violence are restricted in the order. They involve alcohol and drug use most often. Some counties may also require the defendant to seek professional treatment if an addiction is discovered.
Criminal acts are also prohibited and outlined according to the individual’s previous record. This term will also include the form of domestic violence that warranted the need for the court order. If the risks are excessively high, the court will require supervised visitation during the divorce case. These assignments are outlined in the protection order.
How are Violations of the Protection Order Managed?
At any time that the defendant violates any term of the protection order, the victim must contact law enforcement and file a report. If the defendant engages in dangerous behaviors with their child present, any party that discovers these actions must report it. Any reports associated with child endangerment are managed through social services. If the reports are deemed valid, visitation is suspended pending the conclusion of the divorce case.
All criminal violations of the order generate separate charges. They are managed through different proceedings in criminal court. The judge measures the risk to the public and the victim when assigning bail for the defendant.
All violations of the order are relevant to the divorce proceedings. While they don’t affect the finalization of the divorce, they determine if the protection order is extended. They also affect the outcome of child custody assignments. If the defendant is a serious risk to their child or children, the court awards the victim sole custody of the children. Visitation is often supervised by a court officer. However, in extreme cases, visitation is denied.
In New York, domestic violence complicates divorce cases and requires additional legal action. Under state laws, spouses who are victims of these actions may acquire an order of protection to stop this abuse. Victims who need help contact a local divorce attorney right now for further assistance.