Why do Parents Accused of Domestic Violence Need Legal Representation?
The typical sitauation in a domestic violence case involving children: One parent accuses another of domestic violence and then they file an injunction and ask the Court to prevent the offending parent from having contact with them and their child(ren). This hearing is done ex parte (without the other party present) and the Court has to make a preliminary determination whether sufficient, the bare bones minimum, evidence exists in issuing the injunction. Almost all of the time, the Court grants a temporary injunction in order to ensure that the filing party is temporarily protected from harm. Thereafter, a hearing on whether a permanent injunction should be issued is then set, usually within fourteen days. However, the offending parent would not be able to have contact with the complaining parent or their child(ren) during those fourteen days.
The offending party is then given an opportunity to present rebuttal evidence and then the judge makes a final determination on whether cause exists to grant a permanent injunction for a fixed period of time, or for an indefinite period of time. If the Court believes that domestic violence occurred, the judge may impose a permanent injunction preventing the offending parent from seeing his child(ren) until such time that the Court establishes a visitation plan. This could be incorporated as part of the final injunction hearing or may have to wait until the family court judge where the divorce was filed has the time to address the visitation issue, which could be another thirty days after the injunction hearing.
As a parent of three young children, I could not imagine being away from my children for any period of time. The most important right that you can assert when being faced with a domestic violence injunction involving children, is the right to have an attorney represent you in the matter. It is near impossible for a Court, after having heard all the evidence presented and granting a final injunction, to undue their ruling. A party would have to show that there was a substantial change of circumstances in order for a court to vacate their previously entered order. The lawyers at Hager & Schwartz, P.A., have over 45 years combined experience and can aggressively represent your needs in domestic violence injunction cases. Call today for a free consultation!