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Domestic Violence, Family Law, NJ Supreme Court, Uncategorized

Domestic Violence – Do’s and Don’ts

Domestic Violence – Do’s and Don’ts

Domestic Violence Restraining Order – Do’s and Don’ts

Domestic Violence Restraining Order – Plaintiffs Best Practices

Jeff J. Horn – Domestic Violence Lawyer

2021 marks the 30 year anniversary of the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.  Of course, there have been many important cases decided interpreting the domestic violence law and the entry of a domestic violence restraining order.

Thankfully, the case law clarifies the statute. Out of the case law and the courts customary handling of family law and domestic violence restraining order cases, comes a series of domestic violence do’s and don’ts.

Domestic violence Restraining Order  don’ts – do not count on the court ruling in your favor because of your feelings. 

Contrary to popular theory, crying and showing emotional outbursts do not win the day. Certainly, expressing appropriate human emotions is perfectly acceptable and expected. However, overdoing it distracts the family court judge from the important elements of your case.  Here is the standard articulated by the New Jersey Supreme Court: 

“Although we agree that, under an objective standard, courts should not consider the victim’s actual fear.. 

… courts must still consider a plaintiff’s individual circumstances and background in determining whether a reasonable person in that situation would have believed the defendant’s threat.”

Cesare v. Cesare.

Domestic violence Restraining Order do’s and don’ts – Do consult a family law attorney

Don’t lose your case because you failed to consult with a family law attorney. Of course you are under stress. Hiring a lawyer can be stressful. Most likely, you know somebody who can help with a referral. Of course oh, you will search online for a family law attorney in your area.

Do tell your family law attorney – the truth

Generally, family law attorneys will help you for low or no-cost. You can  determine if you and the lawyer are a good match during the consultation and not have to pay full retainer. Best practices, tell the lawyer everything.

Remember domestic violence and family law attorneys are bound by attorney-client privilege. Even if you only consult with the domestic violence and family law attorney, privilege applies. Generally, have a family law attorney cannot reveal anything you communicated during the consultation

Domestic violence Restraining Order – don’t put yourself in harm’s way to pursue a domestic violence restraining order.

Emotions can be powerful. When you are exposed to domestic violence, your feelings may overtake your good judgment. Sometimes, victims of domestic violence put themselves in further danger when emotions run amok. Use caution and count on your family law attorney to guide you.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order – Do’s and Don’ts Police

Count on the police. Mostly, police officers are highly trained in addressing domestic violence. Police officers will guide you as part of the  domestic violence restraining order application.  If you are in fear or danger, call the police.

However, don’t waste police officers’ time. Calling them over and over again for trivial matters will reduce police officers’ effectiveness when you really need them. Police officers are not robots [ yet].  on the contrary, they are human beings who will remember wasteful and hostile interactions 

Domestic Violence Restraining Order Do’s and Don’ts – counseling and therapy

By and large, domestic violence comes with and causes mental distress. You are tough and can take a lot. However, mental health counseling and therapy is highly recommended. Oftentimes, it takes a team to help you through your family law and domestic violence matter. Clearly handling mental distress with a mental health professional will be more effective and cost less than relying upon your family law attorney as your mental health counselor.

Do – Trust the Domestic Violence Restraining Order process

 Obviously, emerging from a violent relationship is very difficult. Your trust in others may be at an all-time low. Follow logical steps, stay cool and Trust the process. The court and the prevention of domestic violence Act is designed to protect you.  Likewise, you will benefit from diligent representation by your experienced and competent family law attorney.

NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence – Resources

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash