Domestic violence is always a serious and sensitive issue. In addition to any criminal consequences, it may have a significant impact on your rights when your marriage dissolves. Victims of domestic violence should know that they have legal options to protect them from an abusive spouse or partner, such as seeking a restraining order. If you have suffered from this criminal conduct in Connecticut or the surrounding area, you should consider speaking with family law lawyer Walter A. Shalvoy, Jr. He has over a decade of experience representing individuals throughout Connecticut who have been harmed by people in relationships with them.
Under Connecticut law, domestic violence consists of any incident involving members of the same family or household that amounts to intended bodily injury, assault, or a threat of violence that leaves the victim in imminent fear of physical harm. Verbal abuse alone does not constitute illegal conduct.
Domestic violence is distinguished by the relationship between the parties. It may arise not only between current or former spouses, but also between:
As a general matter, crimes of domestic violence arise from conduct that would be unlawful even outside the context of a special relationship, including assault, stalking, kidnapping, and sexual assault. In many cases, the abusive behavior can be used as evidence to reduce the child custody or visitation rights of a parent who has engaged in it, or in other ways that affect the respective rights of partners when they split up. Domestic violence also commonly leads to restraining orders, which can be sought well before the perpetrator is convicted of any crime.
Since domestic violence is such a serious matter, the law errs on the side of caution and treats all accusations seriously. This can open a pathway for a victim of domestic violence to obtain a civil restraining order. In Connecticut, an individual may apply to Superior Court for this document, supported by an affidavit stating the reason for seeking it. If there is imminent danger, a restraining order may be issued without a notice or hearing. In many situations, however, a hearing is set within 14 days, and the alleged perpetrator is given notice and an opportunity to respond.
Typically, a civil restraining order will prohibit someone accused of domestic violence from coming into physical contact with the victim or entering the victim’s dwelling. It may also make other provisions, such as setting temporary child custody or visitation rights. In most cases, a restraining order remains in effect for six months. Violating any of its provisions may result in a finding of contempt or may constitute an additional, separate crime. This makes a restraining order particularly useful in protecting a victim from someone who has abused him or her.
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you should not suffer in silence. Discuss your situation and explore your options with experienced divorce attorney Walter A. Shalvoy, Jr. He has protected the rights of many people in the Connecticut area and throughout the state. Contact Shalvoy Law, LLC, at 203-426-4409 or use our online form to set up a free consultation.