New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyer
Families face conflict in many ways and as a result of various acts. Sadly, one of the issues that can tear families apart is domestic violence. This form of abuse involves the commission of any crime of violence or threat that targets a family member.
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA) lists 14 criminal acts that may qualify as domestic violence if the target is a family member or a household member. Not only can the commission of these acts result in serious criminal law issues, but it may also have an affect on the outcome of any family law cases. The mere allegation of domestic violence could affect the terms of a divorce, the receipt of alimony, or the custody of children.
A New Jersey domestic violence lawyer could help when domestic violence has affected your family. An experienced family lawyer can help investigate the incident and work to contextualize the issue into an ongoing family law case.
How does New Jersey Define Domestic Violence?
When determining whether an incident involves domestic violence, it is necessary to evaluate two factors. The first is the identity of the alleged victim. New Jersey Revised Statute § 2C:25-19 states that an act of domestic violence must target:
- A spouse
- A former spouse
- A person with whom the defendant has a child in common
- A dating partner or past dating partner
- A person’s child
- A person’s parent
Once the court is able to determine the identity of the alleged victim, it will move to determine if the apparent criminal activity falls under the definition of domestic violence by assessing their relationship to the accused. Under the same statute, assault, harassment, stalking, criminal mischief, robbery, and kidnapping all qualify as incidents of domestic violence. A New Jersey attorney could help to provide more information about the specifics of the law regarding domestic violence.
The Impact of Domestic Violence on a Family Law Case
The purpose of a family lawyer is to determine the rights of the parties and advocate for the safe enforcement of those rights concerning issues of divorce, separation, child custody, alimony, and other family law issues. Sadly, if one party feels threatened or endangered by the actions of another, it could be difficult to stand up for those rights.
As a result, courts may use evidence of domestic violence in any family law case. Specifically, these allegations can have a profound impact on divorces and child custody issues. As applied to divorces, normally, each party has an equal chance to demand property rights and a fair alimony structure. However, a history of domestic violence may lead a court to grant greater alimony rights to an apparent victim.
Similar concepts can apply to the idea of child custody. A court must always make a decision that serves the best interests of a child when awarding custody, and a parent with a history of domestic violence in any way is unlikely to receive custody or unsupervised visitation rights. A New Jersey attorney could help to explain how incidents of domestic violence could affect a family law case.
Contact a New Jersey Domestic Violence Attorney Today
Incidents of domestic violence will have a profound impact on a family. Not only could a defendant face serious criminal court consequences for their actions, but the mere allegations of wrongdoing could drastically affect a family law case. Even past allegations could lead to a detrimental child custody case or argument for future alimony.
A New Jersey domestic violence lawyer may be able to help. Reach out to a New Jersey domestic violence lawyer today to learn more.