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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