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Do You Need a Domestic Violence Lawyer in North Carolina?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you do not need to suffer alone. Our experienced domestic violence attorneys are here to guide you regarding proper responses to a dangerous situation in your home. We can help you navigate a range of family law issues from protection orders and child custody to divorce so you can avoid a continuing threat in the future.

Domestic violence includes several types of physical and mental abuse against a person with whom someone has a close personal relationship through family, dating, or living in the same household. Violent acts in self-defense are generally not included in domestic violence. There are criminal and civil consequences for domestic violence, and you can seek civil protections that provide an additional level of safety for you and your children while preventing opportunities for future abuse.

Our domestic violence lawyer team can help you understand your options following a violent encounter, and we can help you seek a type of restraining order called a domestic violence protection order (DVPO) while helping you build a strong domestic violence divorce case, if applicable. Our compassionate attorneys will help you navigate your case strategically, while keeping your safety as our first priority.

What Qualifies As Domestic Violence in North Carolina?

Domestic violence occurs when a person does any of the following acts against an individual with whom they share a personal relationship through family, dating, or mutual household:

  • Causing or attempting to cause physical injury
  • Committing sexual abuse
  • Evoking fear of imminent serious injury
  • Evoking fear of continued harassment, causing significant emotional distress
  • Tormenting or terrorizing an individual

Children of individuals in these relationships are also protected under North Carolina’s domestic violence laws. If you will be seeking a divorce, your spouse’s history of domestic violence can have significant implications for child custody, alimony, and property division.

Our North Carolina family law legal team is deeply experienced in leveraging these facts to build a domestic violence divorce case. Contact us today to schedule a case review with our domestic violence attorney team.

What Protections Can Domestic Violence Victims Seek in North Carolina?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, your attorney can help you seek civil protections from the abuser, aside from the criminal consequences they face. These protections may include the following:

  • Emergency relief: An order for the victim to be immediately separated from the defendant if there is a threat of serious and immediate injury
  • Temporary custody: An order for emergency temporary custody of a child if they are at risk of physical or emotional injury from the defendant; when requested, temporary custody may be awarded “ex parte” (without involving the other party in the decision) to provide emergency protection, whereas in other cases a hearing will be set shortly after notifying the other party that the custody issue will soon be addressed
  • Address confidentiality program: A program that allows domestic violence victims to conceal their addresses from abusers
  • Civil lawsuit: A lawsuit for the victim to recover financial losses for medical bills or non-economic damages from the abuser
  • Modifications of custody or support orders: Changes to a couple’s child custody, child support, or spousal support plans to prevent violence against the spouse or children

Your family domestic violence lawyer can help you understand these protections and determine the right strategy to protect you and your family.

Domestic Violence in North Carolina Affects Divorce Terms and Leads to Criminal Penalties

A history of domestic violence has implications for post-divorce terms in North Carolina. Marital misconduct is considered when determining spousal support (alimony) and property division in North Carolina. A judge is also required to consider a history of domestic violence when making child custody decisions, which can lead to temporary or permanent supervised visitation or even termination of parental rights in extreme cases.

Domestic violence is a crime in North Carolina, and it can lead to significant criminal penalties. The court divides domestic violence acts into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies.

Many factors can affect the criminal penalties a domestic violence perpetrator receives. Misdemeanors can lead to up to 150 days in jail, plus fines, community service, anger management classes, and restitution to the victim(s). Felonies can lead to prison sentences.

Holding your abuser accountable for their actions begins with reporting their acts of domestic violence. Our attorneys can help you understand the right processes to report abuse and begin moving forward after you have suffered an incident or pattern of domestic violence, and we can guide you regarding steps for your divorce case, as applicable.

How Can Child Custody Be Modified Following Domestic Violence in NC?

If your child’s other parent has committed domestic violence, you may fear for your child’s safety within your current child custody arrangement. However, you can file for a modification of child custody to seek changes to the other parent’s visitation and custody rights due to their domestic violence acts.

If the court believes the child is in imminent danger, it may place temporary limitations on the parent’s custody rights. Alternatively, you may seek supervised visitation, which requires another authorized adult to be present during the parent’s interactions with their child.

In some extreme cases of domestic violence, a court may terminate a parent’s rights. If you believe your child is at risk of danger from their other parent and you would like to seek a modification of the custody order, our domestic violence law firm can help.

How Can a Domestic Violence Divorce Lawyer Help?

Working with a qualified domestic violence divorce lawyer can help you protect yourself and your children in both the short term and the long term after you have experienced domestic violence. First, your attorney can help you request a domestic violence protection order (DVPO), file motions for emergency relief and temporary custody, and understand other protections for which you may qualify.

We can also guide you through the path to initiate a divorce, and we can manage your divorce case while leveraging the details of your domestic violence experiences to support your case. We have helped many domestic violence victims in North Carolina navigate their cases and find peace of mind while preparing for a safer and more secure living environment.

We speak for you and your future. Contact Speaks Law Firm, PC, Family Law Division today to schedule your case review.

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Why Choose Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division?

Passion – Our family law attorneys, Justin Moulin and Sarah Gray, are dedicated to helping clients with legal matters involving divorce and family issues in Wilmington, North Carolina. We put clients’ needs first, and we are passionate about helping people through emotionally difficult times.
Experience – When dealing with family legal issues, you need someone with a proven track record. Sarah Gray and Justin Moulin have dedicated their careers to representing families. Sarah has more than 10 years of experience representing clients, while Justin has worked in multiple counties in North Carolina and has focused on custody and child support actions, protective order hearings, alimony claims, property division, and divorce.
Case review – You can have peace of mind when you discuss your needs with us. We will review your circumstances and goals. In this discussion, we can create a plan for you and determine your challenges and opportunities. Fill out our online form to schedule a case evaluation.

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Client Review | Wilmington, NC 28401 | Speaks Family Law
  • I was very pleased with the way that Speaks Family Law handled my case. They worked hard to get the most money that they could. Everyone at the firm was always polite and always answered all of my concerns. I would definitely recommend Speaks Family Law to anyone who needs representation. I always knew that they were there anytime I needed them. A big “Thank you!” goes out to all of the people who are involved with the firm.

    - KE -

  • “She was amazing, she was able to give me the information I needed and was straight forward about what was possible regarding my son. She has made me feel confident in knowing that father’s have just as much legal rights to kids as moms. If I need legal help regarding anything further I will be contacting her again for sure.”

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  • It was a very helpful experience and I am especially grateful for the way they answered my questions and helped me navigate what would have been a much more difficult situation. I felt that my interests were fought for and taken care of and would hightly recommend anyone who might go through this to be respresented by Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division.

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FAQS About Domestic Violence

Below are some frequently asked questions about Domestic Violence:

What is the definition of domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used to gain control over another person in a domestic relationship. It can include a wide range of actions, such as:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Technological abuse

Domestic violence can involve invoking fear in a person, attempting to cause injury, or intentionally causing harm.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. You can also reach out to our domestic violence lawyer for assistance.

How does domestic violence impact child custody?

A history of domestic violence can negatively affect a parent’s visitation with a child. If you are seeking custody of a child and your spouse has a history of domestic violence, you may have a better chance of receiving primary custody. The court may limit the other parent’s visitation rights due to their violent history.

Judges consider several factors to determine the best living situation for children of divorcing or separated parents. The court strives to provide the safest and most stable environment for each child.

If you know your spouse has committed domestic violence, you can use these acts as leverage during your custody battle. If the court has already determined a child custody order and your spouse has since become violent, you can request to alter the order. Our domestic violence law firm can help you navigate this process safely and effectively.

What protections are available for victims of domestic violence?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should report the violence to the police. Domestic violence is a crime that can lead to criminal prosecution and jail time.

Aside from criminal prosecution, you can take a few other measures to protect yourself against further violence, including:

  • The address confidentiality program
  • A civil lawsuit
  • Child custody orders
  • Restraining orders

Your domestic violence lawyer can help you determine the best steps to take to protect yourself and your family.

How can a family domestic violence lawyer help?

Working with a domestic violence attorney can help you navigate your case successfully. Your attorney can guide you through all of the legal aspects of your case and communicate with the perpetrator on your behalf.

Contact our domestic violence attorneys at Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division today at (910) 769-7339 to schedule your case evaluation.

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