Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence does not terminate upon separation or divorce. In fact, domestic violence frequently escalates and intensifies upon the spouses’ separation.

Orders of Protection

An Order of Protection is a legal document signed by a Judge of the Family Court, the Criminal Court or the Supreme Court of the State of New York, which sets the rules about contact between people, with the intention of protecting victims of different kinds of violence, physical and mental abuse.

The Family Court

The New York Family Court hears cases involving children and families. In order to obtain an Order of Protection from the Family Court, the alleged abuser must be included in one of the following groups of people: a current or former spouse; someone you are related to through blood or marriage; someone you have a child with (regardless of being married); or someone with whom you are or were in an “intimate relationship.”

When a family member needs an Order of Protection against another, a Family Offense Petition can be filed in the Family Court, requesting the court to grant an Order of Protection based upon the specific acts of domestic violence that the alleged abuser did.

An Attorney Who Can Help You

If you or a family member is a victim of abuse and you live in New York, family law attorney Ingrid Gherman can help you obtain an order of protection or a temporary order of protection. For help, contact Ingrid Gherman’s law office at (212) 941-0767 or send the on-line form explaining your situation.

The Criminal Court

In order to obtain an order of protection from the NY State Criminal Court, there needs to be a criminal case. Such a case usually begins after an arrest. At the request of the Assistant District Attorney, the criminal court judge can grant a criminal order of protection to the complaining witness who is also called the crime victim.

Sometimes orders of protection can be obtained from Family Court as well as from Criminal Court. Orders of Protection contain different rules. For example:

  1. If you receive a “Full or Stay Away Order of Protection” you must stay away from the person holding the order of protection, stay away from his/her home, job, and any other court specified by the court; it may also order you to stay away from the children.
  2. Under a “Full Order of Protection Excluding you from your Home”, you are required to move out of the home and stay away from the person holding the order of protection, and you have to move out even if your name is on the lease.
  3. A “Limited or Refrain from Order of Protection”, means that you have to stop abusing, harassing, or threatening the person holding the order of protection, or any children, who may be included in the Order. But if you and the person holding the order share a home, you can still live there.

A Temporary Order of Protection from the Family Court can last until the date stated by the Judge who signs the Order. A Final Order of Protection in Family Court usually lasts for 2 years, but sometimes it can last for 5 years.

A Final Order of Protection from the Criminal Court usually lasts for 2 years. But if the person is charged with some kind of a felony, the order of protection may last for 8 years. If the person is charged with a misdemeanor, the order of protection can last for 5 years.

If there is Family Court Order of Protection against you, a Judge will determine whether or not to allowing you to have continued visitation is in the best interests of your children. The same Family Court Judge can give the exception to the Family Court Order of Protection for visits to continue. In New York, courts are required to consider the effect of domestic violence on the best interests of children, where the allegations of domestic violence are proven by a preponderance of the evidence.

Get Help

For legal help during a domestic violence dispute contact matrimonial and family law attorney Ingrid Gherman who has many years of experience in the New York Court system on these matters. To schedule a consultation call (212) 941-0767 or you can send the convenient on-line form.