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My husband is an alcoholic and is emotionally abusive toward…

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My husband is an...

My husband is an alcoholic and is emotionally abusive toward me. What are my legal rights?

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

New Jersey

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

This has been going on for quite some time

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
9/30/2017
Family Lawyer: FamilyAttorney, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
FamilyAttorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,551
Experience: Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
Verified

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed NY attorney with 37 years’ extensive experience in family law, trials, appeals, contracts, landlord-tenant, and other types of law.

This is general information and not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

Also, I’d like to review your question for a minute and type your answer. If I am not here for a few minutes, that means I am typing your answer. THIS IS NOT YOUR ANSWER YET so please allow me time to type it up for you. It may take a few minutes, so please understand that. Thanks!

If a request for a phone call comes in, it is from the site, not from me. I will be happy to have a phone call with you but only if you want it. If you would like to request a phone call, that’s fine too. There is no pressure and we can stay here if you’d like.

Are you looking for anything specific -- because there are things that can be done, such as a domestic violence restraining order, divorce, or having him move out if a judge finds that he is emotionally abusive to you and to any children you may have. Some or all of these can be done. I just wanted to see what you want to see happen because any number of things can happen, and you have a lot of rights. NJ law backs you if there is domestic violence (DV) going on in your life.

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Family Lawyer: FamilyAttorney, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I don't know what you are looking for exactly, but NJ is very proactive when it comes to DV rights and DV victims. Perhaps you don't know what to do, but I'll give you some guidance here and then you can decide what you want to do.

Of course, DV victims often do nothing, and then they live with the abuse on a continuing basis. They live in fear never knowing when he's going to have an outburst again.

You can file for a DV restraining order. If you can convince the judge that this situation is scaring you (and any children you may have), then you may be able to get him out of the house even without getting a divorce.

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Family Lawyer: FamilyAttorney, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

If you file for divorce, you would want to file for a restraining order with it. The worst thing to do is to file for a divorce with him in the house. At that point, you will definitely want him out.

If there is a child that you have, and the abuse is occurring in the presence of the child, any guardian ad litem, like I am -- an attorney for the child -- will tell you that you need to be careful because child protective can be at your door if you allow the DV to happen in front of the child without making an effort to get your husband out of the house. Seriously, this is true in NJ and in other states. The case law shows that having DV happen in the presence of a child can be considered neglect, even against the victim. So if there is a child in your life, you need to consider whether you want to have your husband out so you don't lose custody of the child to child protective.

I don't know if these options are what you are looking for, but these are the best options out there in your state. Does this answer your question?

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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