Domestic violence affects many families and can result in both physical harm and emotional trauma. A dedicated family law attorney can help you explore your legal options after a loved one commits acts of violence against you and your children. If you experienced abuse in your home, a qualified Sandy Springs family violence lawyer can help you seek legal protection.

What are the State Laws against Family Violence?

Family violence in Sandy Springs may entail spousal and child abuse, but its legal definition also includes more complex situations. Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-13-1 defines assault, battery, damage to property, trespassing, and some felony crimes as potential forms of family violence. These laws apply to violence between spouses, former partners, parents and children, and people who share kids or live together.

Child Custody Matters

Sandy Springs courts must take special precautions in child custody cases where a parent has committed family violence. According to O.C.G.A. §19-9-7, a judge may award visitation or parenting time to an abusive parent which includes provisions for the safety of the victim and their shared children.

For example, the courts may impose conditions to protect a vulnerable child and parent, such as:

  • Requiring custody exchanges to happen in a protected setting;
  • Ordering a third party to supervise visitation with the offending parent;
  • Prohibiting the perpetrator from consuming alcohol;
  • Requiring the abuser to pay a bond for the safe return of their child; and
  • Ordering the address of the child and victim remain confidential.

When a custody order is already in place when an incident of violence occurs, the children’s other parent may need to modify their order to keep the family safe from further abuse. It could be substantially beneficial to consult a skilled Sandy Springs family violence attorney when seeking to protect a child and their parent from danger.

How Can a Survivor Petition the Court for Relief?

Survivors of abuse may file a petition with the court for relief from family violence under O.C.G.A. §19-13-3. A claimant may also file a petition on behalf of a minor child in need of protection.

A petitioner who establishes that family violence happened and is likely to happen again may be granted immediate protection from a judge. Temporary protection orders might require a perpetrator to stay away from the petitioner and adhere to any other conditions that the tribunal deems necessary to keep the latter safe.

A temporary protection order must be addressed within 30 days to be extended or made permanent. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to prove their allegations in court, and the accused person has the right to appear at the hearing and present a defense. A seasoned family violence lawyer in Sandy Springs can empower a survivor in court and help them advocate for their needs.

Enforcing Legal Protections

Police can help ensure that orders to protect a person from family violence are not violated. For example, the police can arrest a person for violating orders issued under O.C.G.A. §19-13-3. A violation of a restraining order is contempt of court and can be escalated to felonious charges in particularly egregious cases.

Call a Sandy Springs Family Violence Attorney Today

If you were subjected to violence or abuse from a family member, there might be legal protections available to you. A compassionate attorney can stand by your side and help you take steps to protect your family from future harm.

Take the first steps to defend your family by retaining a Sandy Springs family violence lawyer to advocate for you. Call our intake team today to learn about how you can keep you and your kids safe from abuse.

Client Review

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Ashley and the entire crew at Atlanta Divorce Law Group went above and beyond all of my legal expectations. Besides being knowledgeable in the field of divorce, child custody, mediation and all things law, she was truly a friend during the entire process. Her legal team and associates are polite, professional and personable. They helped a single mom of two and school teacher figure out this new world with bravery and optimism. Thank you, Ashley and Atlanta Divorce Law Group for being there for one of the most trying times of my life. My kids and I are truly thankful to you!
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