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Millions of people live in Westchester County. Some of those persons could be dangerous. Not all dangerous people are strangers. Spouses going through divorce proceedings may find the relationship between them comes with an element of potential or realized violence. Perhaps violent behavior motivates the prime reason for the divorce.
Your Safety Is Protected by the Law
Pursuant to the laws of New York State, “If you are the victim of domestic violence, you may request that the officer assist in providing for your safety and that of your children, including providing information on how to obtain a temporary order of protection. You may also request that the officer assist you in obtaining your essential personal effects and locating and taking you, or assist in making arrangements to take you, and your children to a safe place within such officer’s jurisdiction, including but not limited to a domestic violence program, a family member’s or a friend’s residence, or a similar place of safety. When the officer’s jurisdiction is more than a single county, you may ask the officer to take you or make arrangements to take you and your children to a place of safety in the county where the incident occurred. If you or your children are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to request that the officer assist you in obtaining such medical treatment. You may request a copy of any incident reports at no cost from the law enforcement agency.” (from yonkersny.gov)
The Issue of Violent Behavior
An order of protection can be issued if one spouse feels he/she is threatened by another spouse. Different courts may issue an order of protection. In divorce proceedings, the family court would process the request. An order of protection, in essence, bars certain behaviors on the part of one spouse. He/she may be denied contact with the other soon-to-be ex-spouse or may be required to relinquish firearms.
Procuring an Order or Protection
A specific form must be filled out and presented to the judge in NY family court. The form allows the petitioner to clearly spell out the specific dangers the other spouse presents. The judge can review the document and render a decision based on both the content on the form and any arguments brought forth by both attorneys. Questions about any children the two parties may have together would be noted on the form. Things can become complex when filing for an order of protection and custody rights must be addressed.
Clearly, the filing of an order or protections reflects a very serious situation between the two divorces parties. Retaining the best possible attorney to stress the seriousness of the situation becomes critical in order to arrive at the desired — and appropriate — result.
Dangers of Violence and Stalking
Domestic violence presents a threat to the life and safety of the person targeted for the violence. Dissolving a marriage helps the process of getting away from an abusive spouse. The danger a spouse poses might not go away after a separation or when divorce proceedings take place.
In some cases, the violence might commence after the divorce is initiated. Stalking and other threatening behavior might take place. Living in great fear over the potential escalation of violence can be enormously stressful and frightening. Seeking protections from the court makes sense for those dealing with such fear and worry.
Filing the petition for an order of protection and presenting all the facts of the case to the court should increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
The other spouse might argue against the order of protection for any number of reasons. Again, the best possible counsel must be retained in order to improve the likelihood of a preferable decision.
Your Rights as a Domestic Violence Victim
According to New York legislation, “You have the right to seek legal counsel of your own choosing and if you proceed in family court and if it is determined that you cannot afford and attorney, one must be appointed to represent you without cost to you. You may ask the district attorney or a law enforcement officer to file a criminal complaint. You have the right to have your petition and request for an order of protection filed on the same day you appear in court, and such request must be heard that same day or the next day court is in session.” (from yonkersny.gov)
Both the family court and the criminal court have the authority to issue an order of protection from conduct constituting a family offense. Such an order can include, among other provisions, an order for the respondent or defendant to stay away from you and your children. The family court can also order payment of temporary child support and award temporary custody of your children. If you need help and the family court is not in session at the time you need it, you may alternatively seek immediate assistance from the criminal court in obtaining an order of protection. The forms you require to obtain for an order of protection are available from the Yonkers family court and also from the Yonkers criminal court.
Addressing False Claims
To file a criminal complaint or a family court petition that contains allegations that are knowingly false is a crime. Nevertheless, what happens if the claims made about a spouse in an order of protection petition are false?
As unfortunate it may be, a spouse could make false claims in court. Among those false assertions would be false claims of violence. An experienced attorney understands how to counter the false claims and do so in a professional and compelling manner. Counterarguments do need to be believable. A skilled attorney should be able to put forth the necessary credibility for the counterargument to carry weight.
Contact Experienced Counsel
The critical nature of filing or disputing an order of protection in New York City must be placed in the most capable of legal hands. Planning a meeting with an attorney to better discuss matters likely should be done without unnecessary delays.