Domestic violence is not only terrifying but can also be emotionally debilitating. No one should have to fear for their own or for their children’s safety in their daily lives, and North Carolina has laws in place that address this issue. If you are going through a divorce, the stress in your household is bound to be running high, which can sometimes lead to domestic violence. If you are the victim of domestic violence, fear that you might become a victim of domestic violence, or have been accused of domestic violence – an experienced Raleigh domestic violence lawyer can help.
Domestic Violence Defined
Domestic violence can come in many different forms. For the purposes of obtaining a domestic violence protective order (DVPO), however, the State of North Carolina defines domestic violence as any situation in which someone with whom you have a personal relationship – such as a spouse – engages in any one of a series of damaging behaviors or actions toward you or your minor child. These include:
- Attempting to cause physical injury or intentionally causing physical injury
- Putting you or another family member in fear of imminent serious physical danger
- Engaging in harassment that rises to the level of causing substantial emotional anguish
- Engaging in any sexual abuse
Domestic Violence Protective Orders
Domestic violence protective orders are also known as restraining orders, and they are legal papers executed by judges that notify the accused to either stop the abusive actions or face serious legal consequences. North Carolina has two basic categories of protective orders in instances of domestic violence that include ex parte protective orders and final protective orders.
Ex Parte Domestic Violence Protective Order
The first type of protective order is the ex parte temporary protective order, which can provide the victim of domestic violence with immediate protection. In fact, a judge can issue the order the same day the petition for the protective order is filed. Ex parte protective orders generally apply in situations in which the complaining party feels an immediate threat of violence. An ex parte protective order imposes restrictions upon the alleged abuser until the first hearing date.
Because this protective order is temporary and predicated on immediate danger, it can be issued without the alleged abuser’s presence. The spouse identified in the protective order, however, will have the opportunity to challenge the claim in a court hearing, which is usually held within about ten days.
Final Domestic Violence Protective Order
While a final domestic violence protective order offers the same protections as an ex parte protective order, it remains in effect for a longer period of time. For such an order to be issued, a full hearing must take place, and the accused must be given the opportunity to defend himself or herself.
If You Have Concerns Related to Domestic Violence, a Skilled Raleigh Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help
Issues related to domestic violence are among the most difficult divorce-related concerns. Daphne Edwards at Daphne Edwards Divorce & Family Law in Raleigh, North Carolina, has the experience, dedication, and compassion to help you. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at (919) 838-7160 today.