It is a serious matter when people who live in the same household become violent with each other. There can be criminal consequences, but violence in the home also impacts child custody and visitation issues. An incident of family violence could affect your closest relationships forever.

If you are dealing with an issue of household aggression, a compassionate family attorney can help. Contact our team to learn about the benefits of letting a Crabapple family violence lawyer advocate for you.

What is Family Violence?

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-13-10 defines family violence as battery, assault, damage to property, or criminal trespass between members of the same household. This broad definition means family violence could occur without physical contact between two people. Verbal aggression, punching walls, breaking furniture, or threatening a household member with harm could be considered violence under family law.

Family violence involves two members of the same household, or otherwise connected through family or dating.  The people involved could be spouses or intimate partners, parent and child, or have another relationship.

Even when the police do not get involved, if an individual experiences or witnesses’ family violence, they can take legal action to protect themselves and other household members with the help of a Crabapple attorney.

Protective Orders Limit Contact

An adult who experiences family violence can seek a protective order against the alleged perpetrator. If a child is the victim of threats or violence, a parent or legal guardian can pursue one on their behalf.

To obtain a protective order, an individual must file a form with the Georgia family court system. The form requires them to specify the behavior that led them to seek the order. The person filing the complaint must also present proof from a witness who might be another household member, a police officer, or someone else who was present.

If a family court issues the order, it could prevent the allegedly violent person from approaching the individual, require them to leave their home, and cease any contact with other remaining household members. A Crabapple attorney with family violence case experience can further advise individuals and families about the process of seeking a protective order.

Effect of Family Violence on Legal Matters

A history of family violence or an active protective order can significantly impact divorce and child custody matters. Cruelty could be used as the grounds for a fault-based divorce when a spouse is violent toward the other spouse or their children.

Even in a no-fault divorce, a history of violent or aggressive behavior almost always impacts child custody and visitation decisions. Georgia family courts usually will permit visitation unless contact with a parent is dangerous to the child, but a court could:

  • Require children to be dropped off or picked up in a public place;
  • Forbid overnight visits;
  • Prevent the parent with a family violence history from knowing where the child lives or goes to school;
  • Allow only supervised visitation.

The child’s best interest is the standard used to determine how much contact a parent should have with a child. If family violence is an issue in a custody dispute, a Crabapple attorney can help you convince a judge that the presented visitation goals are in the interest of the child’s well-being.

Work With a Crabapple Attorney to Respond to Family Violence Issues

Whether you have witnessed or experienced family violence, an experienced legal professional can help.

A Crabapple family violence lawyer understands the law and how the courts try to protect children and other vulnerable people from harm. Our firm can assist you in presenting your concerns in the way that best serves your goals for safety. Call today to schedule a free consultation with a qualified team member.

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