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Assertively Protecting Your Rights In Domestic Abuse Matters

At Daphne Edwards Divorce & Family Law, PC, our Raleigh lawyer has successfully defended against claims of domestic violence and secured restraining orders for victims of domestic violence. If you have been served with a domestic violence protective order (DVPO), then you should not contact the complaining party or violate the order. Instead, contact our attorney, Daphne Edwards. A violation of a DVPO, including an ex parte DVPO, has serious criminal consequences. A person who violates a DVPO may be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor for knowingly violating the DVPO, and the police must arrest a person who they have probable cause to believe has violated such an order.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, the judicial system provides avenues for relief. You may file a complaint seeking an ex parte DVPO, which is granted on an emergency basis and lasts for 10 days, and/or a longer-term DVPO, which typically lasts for one year. To receive a DVPO, a party must show that they have a personal relationship with the abuser and that an act of domestic violence has occurred. Both of these requirements are defined below.

What Does North Carolina Consider To Be Domestic Abuse?

Under Chapter 50B of the North Carolina General Statutes, domestic violence is defined as one or more of the following acts committed upon you or your children:

  • Attempting to or causing bodily injury
  • Placing you or a member of your family in fear of imminent serious bodily injury (which is a subjective test rather than an objective reasonableness test)
  • Placing you or a member of your family in fear of continued harassment, which inflicts substantial emotional distress (and includes harassment occurring through written communications, telephone calls, emails, voicemail messages, and other computerized or electronic transmissions)
  • Committing rape or other sex offenses, as defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-27.2 through § 14-27.7.

To be granted the DVPO, the filing party must also show, in addition to the above domestic violence act(s), a “personal relationship,” which means the parties are one of the following:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Cohabitating persons of the opposite sex
  • Related as parent and child
  • Parents of a child in common
  • Current or former household members
  • Persons of the opposite sex in a dating relationship

What Is The DVPO Process Like?

A party seeking a DVPO begins the process by filing a complaint and motion for a DVPO. On this form, the party may also seek an ex parte DVPO, which is an emergency order granted by the court based on the complaining party’s testimony before a judge. The ex parte DVPO lasts for 10 days and is effective immediately. A summons must also be issued and served on the defendant in addition to the complaint, the notice of hearing, and any temporary or ex parte orders that have been granted by the court. Because an ex parte DVPO is a temporary measure, the party who filed the complaint must return to court for a full hearing within that 10-day period. At the hearing, the victim may testify as to why a protective order is needed, and the defendant may present reasons why it should not be granted. If the court grants a DVPO, the order may not exceed one year, which can be later renewed.

Providing Relief

The relief a court may provide in granting an ex parte DVPO or a one-year DVPO is extensive. In addition to ordering the defendant to refrain from domestic violence, a court may order additional forms of relief, including any of the following:

  • Possession of the marital home to the plaintiff and eviction of the defendant
  • Temporary custody of the minor children and temporary visitation
  • Temporary spousal and/or temporary child support paid by the defendant
  • Possession of personal property of the parties, including vehicles and pets
  • A surrendering of firearms by the defendant
  • Attorney’s fees to either party

Protecting Your Rights And Safety In Domestic Violence Cases

At Daphne Edwards Divorce & Family Law, our experienced attorney understands the serious impact that domestic violence can have on individuals and families. She is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal support and advocacy to clients who are facing domestic violence situations in their relationships.

When it comes to domestic violence and divorce, it is important to:

  • Understand your rights: Our attorney will explain your legal rights and options when it comes to seeking protection from domestic violence, including obtaining restraining orders or filing for divorce.
  • Ensure your safety: Our lawyer will prioritize your safety and work diligently to develop strategies to protect you and your children from further harm. This may involve seeking temporary or permanent restraining orders, arranging for a safe living situation and/or coordinating with law enforcement.
  • Advocate for your best interests: Our attorney will guide you through the divorce process, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected. She will work to secure a fair division of assets, child custody arrangements, and any necessary support or alimony.
  • Connect you with resources: Our lawyer has established relationships with local resources and support networks that can provide additional assistance and guidance during this challenging time. She will connect you with professionals who specialize in domestic violence counseling, support groups and other services.

If you are facing domestic violence in your relationship, then it is crucial to take immediate action to protect yourself and your loved ones. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation and learn how our attorney can help you navigate the legal process and secure a safer future.

Get A North Carolina Domestic Violence Lawyer’s Help Today

Our Raleigh domestic violence attorney has the experience and legal knowledge to ferociously protect you. Contact us for more information and to schedule an initial consultation by calling 919-891-8552 or sending us an email to get started.