Finding the best way to protect your family after violence occurs in your home can be frightening. Unfortunately, family violence is likely to escalate over time, so it is best to enlist the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney as soon as possible to understand your legal protections.

Victims of household abuse may hesitate to seek help, but a compassionate Fulton County family violence lawyer understands these situations and can assist survivors during court proceedings by advocating for their safety.

Family Violence According to State Law

Many cases of family violence involve abuse by a spouse or parent, but they can also include other relationships and crimes. While this type of abuse often entails battery or assault, other criminal acts like stalking, damage to property, unlawful restraint, trespassing, and some felonies could also form the basis of a successful family violence claim. Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-13-1, family violence can occur between any of the following parties:

  • Past or present spouses;
  • Parents of shared children; and
  • Any persons living or who formerly lived in the same household.

A skilled Fulton County family violence attorney can explore legal remedies for a person who has experienced domestic abuse or criminal behavior from a loved one.

Seeking Relief from Domestic Abuse

Those experiencing family violence may file a petition with Fulton County courts seeking relief under O.C.G.A. §19-13-4. A claimant who establishes the occurrence of abuse and its likelihood to occur again may be granted a temporary order to protect vulnerable family members in the household. These orders may be issued without notice to a perpetrator and are meant to provide immediate relief in urgent circumstances.

In order for a temporary protection order to stay active after 30 days, the perpetrator must have the opportunity to attend a hearing in court to refute allegations of family violence. It is up to a petitioner to prove their case with a preponderance of evidence. Facing an abuser in court can be intimidating without the guidance of an experienced Fulton County lawyer who is familiar with family violence cases.

Child Custody and Family Violence

Child custody may become an issue when family violence happens between parents of shared children. A parent who has committed an act of family violence may still be entitled to visitation under O.C.G.A. §19-9-7, but only if a judge can make arrangements for the safety of the victim and their children.

Custody orders which safeguard a child and their vulnerable parent from family violence may include arrangements such as:

  • Visitation supervised by a third party or agency;
  • Exchanges of the children must occur in protected settings; and
  • Prohibiting the perpetrator from consuming alcohol, marijuana, or other dangerous drugs.

Local courts can impose any condition deemed necessary to protect a child and their parent from family violence. For example, a perpetrator’s parenting time may be reduced or eliminated in some cases. A seasoned family violence lawyer in Fulton County can help a victim of abuse understand their rights and seek orders to protect their children.

Let a Fulton County Family Violence Attorney Help Today

Family violence can cause fear and uncertainty, and legal action may be needed to protect your family from further abuse. Understanding your options and legal recourse may be crucial for getting the relief you need. A dedicated Fulton County family violence lawyer can guide you through the legal process and fight for your loved ones’ safety in court. Take the first step by calling our intake team today for an initial consultation.

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