Delaware County Domestic Violence Victim Lawyer
Advocating for Delaware County Victims of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can occur in different forms. It may involve physical violence or emotional abuse. It may be directed at a spouse or a child, or at both. However it occurs, domestic violence is against the law. If you have been a victim of abuse, you may be eligible to claim things in a divorce, such as the family home, financial assets, and custody of your children, even if you are not the primary breadwinner.
What Is the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act?
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act can be found in the Pennsylvania statutes at Title 18, Section 2711. This act gives law enforcement the authority to:
- Arrest a person accused of domestic violence without a warrant if there is probable cause
- Seize all weapons owned by the accused person
- Remove the accused offender from the household
- Issue an emergency restraining order, to provide protection for the victims
How Should You Leave a Marriage in Which You Are Experiencing Domestic Violence?
If you want out of a marriage with an abusive spouse, it is critical to remove yourself from the situation or make the abuse stop somehow. We highly recommend that you speak with an experienced Delaware County divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you deal with the risks and financial issues involved with leaving an abusive partner.
Taking legal action can help in several ways:
- Temporary restraining order: To obtain a restraining order (order of protection), you must file documents with the court, appear before a judge, and present convincing evidence that your spouse is a danger to your health and/or your children’s. A restraining order can legally ban your spouse from entering the family home or coming into contact with you or your children. This includes calling, texting, visiting you at work, or any attempt to harass or abuse you.
- Hearing: A temporary restraining order is only good for 10 days, during which time you must attend a hearing in front of a judge. Your spouse has a right to receive notice and to attend the hearing and defend him or herself. Your attorney will work to build a strong case for extending the order of protection. The court may also make decisions regarding child custody and property rights, such as the right to live in the family home.
- Final protection order: If the court agrees that you and/or your children need protection from your spouse, it may grant a final protection order, which goes into effect immediately and lasts for up to three years, with an option for extension, legally barring your spouse from contacting you or coming near you.
- Divorce: Proceedings are different when you are filing for divorce from an abusive spouse. You should be able to file without lengthy delays, and court-ordered counseling can be eliminated if you object to it. You can end the marriage quicker with a no-fault divorce. When children are involved, the courts’ primary concern is their best interests. They are likely to limit or even terminate an abusive parent’s rights.
Why Choose Us?
It can be tough ending any marriage, but even more so if you have been a victim of domestic violence. At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., we understand. Ms. Retz is a skilled Delaware County divorce lawyer with more than 25 years of experience. She can guide you through the process of leaving and divorcing an abusive spouse.
We offer a free consultation. Call us today at (610) 645-0100 for the compassionate legal help and guidance you need.