Houston Domestic Violence Lawyers
Domestic violence is as prevalent in the state of Texas as it is in any other part of the country. In 2005, 187,811 family violence incidents were reported, 143 women were killed by their intimate partners and 11,996 adults and 17,105 children received shelter from abusive relationships. These are the statistics that are reported to authorities and one cannot help but wonder as to how many cases go unreported. A 2002 poll conducted by the Texas Council on Family Violence revealed that 74% of all Texans had either experienced family violence themselves or had a friend or family member that had experienced it. 47% of all Texans reported that they themselves had experienced domestic violence of one form or another with 31% of all Texans stating that they had been severely abused at some point in their life.
The figures speak for themselves. Domestic violence is a large problem in the state of Texas that personally touches nearly half of the population at some stage in their lives. Domestic violence can be broken into several categories: severe domestic violence (physical violence or sexual abuse), verbal domestic violence and forced isolation. While most people can agree that it is unhealthy to remain in a relationship where one is physically or sexually abused, not everyone knows the legal options that are open to them if they are on the receiving end of abuse in a relationship.
Contacting Your Family Law Attorney
In today’s society, “domestic violence” is something of a taboo topic. In most social circles there is an extremely negative stigma attached to the act of committing domestic violence. While few would be comfortable admitting they abuse their spouse or children, many people do. If you have been violently assaulted, a phone call to the police may provide temporary respite from the violence but you will need to take further action to ensure that the situation does not continue. A family law attorney is the person to which many people turn.
Your family law attorney will be able to take necessary steps to have a protective order issued on your behalf. A protective order will keep the person that has abused you or your children from coming to your home or workplace or anywhere that your children might be. The person that a protective order is issued against will not be able to own a gun or do anything to threaten you in any way. Violating such a protective order is a felony and can result in jail time. Your family law attorney will inform you whether or not a protective order is in your best interests.
At Garg & Associates, we have experience helping clients with domestic-violence issues, including:
No Contact Protective Orders
Beyond a standard protective order, there is a no contact protective order. A no contact protective order is reserved for severe cases of domestic violence. Under such an order, the offender will not be able to make contact with you in any way except through a lawyer. Contact extends to covering not only face-to-face contact but also letters and phone calls. All of the protections of a standard protective order apply and of course, they will not be able to legally own a gun. Once again, violation of any aspect of a no contact protective order can result in jail time.
In less severe domestic violence cases, restraining orders can be used. If a restraining order is violated then the violator will not go to jail. Restraining orders are pursued in civil courts and are often the best option if the person has broken any laws. A restraining order is appropriate where there has been verbal abuse. “Restraining orders” also apply where a person believes that they are at risk of domestic violence in the future but have not been a victim of domestic violence in the past.
No Gender Discrimination
There is no gender discrimination in domestic violence cases. The court recognizes that men as well as women can be at risk of domestic violence. While women are on the receiving end in a higher number of domestic violence reports than men are, men can be victims too. Men have access to the same legal protections as women.
Divorces and Domestic Violence
In divorces where domestic violence can be proved, the settlement is likely to favor the victim. There is little tolerance for domestic violence in the family court. People that have severely abused their spouse or children can expect a reduced percentage of the family assets and may have their child visitation severely reduced or halted completely. While the divorce process usually involves some contact between spouses, in cases where domestic violence is present, contact can be made through lawyers. Every aspect of the divorce, even mediation, can be carried out without the need for actual contact with your spouse.
Turning to a Family Law Attorney
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, a “family law attorney” can provide you with the legal protection that you need. Once a protective order or a restraining order is in place, you can then decide how you would like to proceed. If you are married to the perpetrator then you may wish to consider divorce strategies. Your family law attorney will advise you of options that are open to you as a victim of domestic violence in your divorce. It is important that you be completely honest with your lawyer as to the extent of the violence. Your lawyer will then be able to form a strategy and take the necessary steps to end the marriage.
Please call us today at 281-362-2865 or complete our contact form and let us assist you with your legal need.