Guidance through complex situations, safeguarding your rights
Legal Health for Domestic Violence Situations
Within family law, Domestic Violence Protective Orders and No-Contact Orders are frequently encountered legal matters. At Pennington Brienzi Law, PLLC, we have experience in representing both Plaintiffs and Defendants in cases involving 50b and 50c orders.
We understand the sensitivity and complexity of these situations, and our dedicated team is here to provide professional guidance and support, ensuring that your legal rights and best interests are upheld throughout the process.
Seeking Legal Protection for Your Family
When facing domestic violence, it is crucial to seek legal help. Our law firm is dedicated to protecting your rights and providing the support you need.
Find answers to frequently asked questions about domestic violence matters.
In North Carolina, Domestic Violence is defined as the commission upon an aggrieved party, or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party, of one ore more of the following acts:
- Attempting to cause bodily injury or intentionally causing bodily injury [G.S. 50B-1(a)(1)]
- Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party’s family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury [G.S. 50B-1(a)(2)]
- Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party’s family or household in fear of continued harassment that inflicts substantial emotional distress [G.S. 50B-1(a)(2)]
Therefore, you must be able to show the court that someone you are in a personal relationship with (i.e. current or former spouse; current or former dating relationship; former or current household member; family member; share a child) has committed one of the above acts against you. The types of evidence that can be brought in front of the court could be pictures of your injuries; audio or video recordings of a violent incident; medical records, etc. that may show injuries, or show that you are experiencing substantial emotional distress because of the actions of the other person.
The act does not have to be a physical act of violence in which one party physically harms the other. Domestic violence can be emotional and mental as well. You must be able to show the court that you are in fear of physical harm or continued harassment by the other party and any evidence that would show this is relevant to your case.
If you find yourself and your children in a domestic violence situation, you should make a safety plan as to how and when you will leave. That plan should include important phone numbers, where you will go if the situation escalates, and how you will safely leave the residence should something occur. Be sure to share this plan with someone you trust, and if you feel your physical safety is in danger, or your children’s safety, contact law enforcement or call a crisis line, such as InterAct in Wake County.
If you are experiencing physical abuse, a law enforcement officer should be able to assist you with the criminal aspect of those charges. The officer could arrest an offender if he or she has committed a crime, and they can also arrest an offender if there is a current domestic violence restraining order in place and that person is in violation. If you are unsure of what to do in a particular situation, please contact a crisis line for domestic violence or reach out to an attorney for a consultation on next steps.
As part of a domestic violence protective order, the court is able to award temporary support to the victim, specifically child support. The court could also order the offender to leave the residence if you are living together and prevent him or her from coming back to the property.
Once you are separated (if the protective order is granted) an attorney can assist you with filing for post-separation support if you are married, or other financial assistance from the other party.
You have a right to feel safe and live without fear. You also have the ability to request address confidentiality in some situations. You have rights against discrimination in housing situations, and if you have to relocate due to domestic violence the court cannot take that issue into account when determining custody of minor children. Please talk to an attorney about further questions you may have about your rights.
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