Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hello. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience. My practice is limited to family law and appeals, but I have many years’ experience with landlord-tenant issues, contract law, and other types of law. I also have written hundreds of legal articles. I look forward to helping you today.
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. How old are the kids and how long has this been going on? Thanks for this information
Thank you for that. I presume this has been going on for some time now.
Have you checked with any local domestic violence shelters? A lot of them have counseling and help women get away from their husbands. It's one of the first places that people are advised to try.
I have been in court representing children as a guardian ad litem, called an attorney for the child, in NY, on on many cases which involved domestic violence (DV). It's scary for the entire family.
In many cases, if the other spouse is committing acts of domestic violence against you, you have to be careful for many reasons, one of which is that child protective can take the kids because they're being exposed to DV. I'm just giving you a heads up, so yes, you must do something about this.
Can you tell me what you think you'd like to do? There are things such as getting a restraining order against him, which will get him out of the house, and starting divorce proceedings after you get the restraining order, or living separate and apart without a divorce to see how things go. The first thing I would suggest is a restraining order against him and to seek out a DV shelter/help place so that you can become more familiar with how to deal with DV.
You do not have to start divorce proceedings if you don't want. The best thing to do is get a restraining order and then see if things calm down at all and if there is any way of resolving this, unless that's not what you want.
I am so sorry, and I know that you must feel trapped. Leaving or doing something proactive is the hardest thing for people who are the victims of DV. Maybe the best thing for you to do is go to a DV shelter. I'm an Attorney for the Child in NY, like a Guardian ad litem, and I am looking at it from the kids' perspective. I have to advise you that child protective could take the kids if this continues in their presence. NY law is full of cases like that, and most of the New England states have similar laws. So I just wanted to advise you of that.
I know it's tempting not to do anything and hope it stops, but it doesn't stop. Sometimes it gets worse. You don't deserve this, as you know. It's not your fault either. I will tell you that over and over to make sure you hear it from a trained professional who has dealt with many DV cases in my 36 year career as a family attorney.
Do you want me to see if there is a DV shelter in your area? Also, he prevents you from access to money, correct? He is controlling, obviously, and he's controlling all areas of your life. That alone, the control with money, can be DV. Are you safe there now?
What can I do for you? Do you have a relative's house you can go to overnight just to get away if you need to, either now or tomorrow? I know it's late now. Will you be okay till tomorrow? Then maybe tomorrow you can make plans to go to a relative's house for a little while with the kids. That will give you time to think.
I want you to know I am not saying get a divorce. I am not saying that.
I am saying evaluate your options, such as go to a DV shelter or a relative's house. Staying home is not a great option because the presence of any DV in front of the kids is going to trigger a child protective visit. Plus you yourself are in danger and you don't deserve that or need that, and you could be seriously hurt now that this has escalated.
Does this help you or do you need more options?
Hello. If you're going to be looking for a divorce or separation, especially with domestic violence going on, which you must allege, you will be allowed to stay in the house with the children. The kids are young and a court will want to do that for you. You will need to get a laweyer for this, and then the lawyer will make a motion to ask for you to get support immediately and to have your legal fees paid for. This will help you get a lawyer.
Does this answer your question or are you looking for other alternatives?
I have given you all of the alternatives that are out there: going to a shelter, staying with a relative (or friend), filing for separation, filing for divorce, taking time to think it over, removing the children from the situation with or without you but you're better off being out of his range because he can get angry again, filing a request for a restaining order/order of protection. These are your options. This is what you can do. Or you can stay and do nothing but it's not healthy for you, it's not good for the kids, and child protective can take it out on you if you're allowing DV to happen. This is how child protective thinks. I know you aren't looking for DV to happen, but the law is that if you're a victim of DV, especially in northeastern states, you're allowing this to happen if you keep the kids there, so child protective is going to want to see you get the kids out of there.
Does that answer your question?
Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you. Thanks!