Family Law Overview
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Vista Domestic Violence Attorneys
Domestic violence can have a devastating impact on any family. Family law pertains to all legal matters involving family members, which applies to domestic violence cases. In almost every such case, domestic violence proceedings play a role in a greater divorce case. If you or a family member has experienced any form of domestic violence, call our office. It’s vital to know your legal options and the value of working with an experienced Vista domestic violence lawyer.
Attorney Paula D. Kleinman offers compassionate and responsive legal counsel to every client. Our team of experienced domestic violence attorneys understand that domestic violence cases are especially challenging due to the emotionally devastating and trauma they involve. We do everything we can to safely guide our clients through their legal proceedings and secure the legal outcomes they need to feel secure again.
Why Choose Paula D. Kleinman?
When you need a Vista domestic violence attorney to assist you in securing a restraining order and initiate divorce proceedings, choose one with solid experience. With more than 20 years of professional legal experience behind you in your case, you can rest assured that representation from Paula D. Kleinman is one of the best assets you can have on your side in a domestic violence case.
Attorney Kleinman will personally review your case and then leverage our firm’s full range of resources on your behalf. We believe in protecting the rights of those victimized by domestic violence who are unsure of where to turn for help. You can expect aggressive and responsive legal representation from Paula D. Kleinman and her team of lawyers in Vista.
What Usually Happens in a Domestic Violence Case?
The California criminal justice system takes domestic violence very seriously. The police have a responsibility to separate an alleged victim from their alleged abuser immediately. Most domestic violence cases begin with a call to the police. The police respond and arrest the alleged abuser, compile a report, and then move to expedite protective measures for the victim. The victim may then press charges. A Vista domestic violence lawyer may then assist the victim in compiling a divorce petition against an abusive spouse, securing a formal protective order, and pursuing compensation for damages.
Domestic violence cases can easily involve legal proceedings to determine civil liability, criminal proceedings against the alleged abuser, and divorce proceedings between an abuser and their victim. Due to the complex and sensitive nature of domestic violence, experienced legal representation is an absolute necessity for ensuring expeditious proceedings.
How Long Do Domestic Violence Cases Last?
Since it is not uncommon for domestic violence cases to pertain to multiple areas of the law, legal proceedings for domestic violence cases can easily take months or even years. This is especially true when domestic violence generates civil proceedings, divorce proceedings, and criminal proceedings at once.
If you are concerned about the potential timetable for your domestic violence case, call our firm. You must consult with an experienced Vista domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. This will help you determine how quickly you expect to receive the legal protection you and your family need as well as when you can expect a resolution to other variables in your case.
Can a Defendant Win a Domestic Violence Case?
Anyone accused of domestic violence will be arrested under California state laws to ensure the safety of alleged victims. A defendant may offer many potential defenses to contest a domestic violence claim, including self-defense, wrongful accusation, or misrepresentation of events. If a defendant can successfully prove they not only did not engage in domestic violence but actually defended themselves from the accuser, they may flip legal action through a counterclaim and file charges against the initial accuser.
It is also possible for a defendant to win a domestic violence case after a falsified accusation. Unfortunately, some individuals file domestic violence accusations against their spouses or partners out of spite and frustration, ultimately experiencing significant legal consequences for their false accusations.
When a domestic violence case involves civil and criminal proceedings, it is important for both defendants and plaintiffs to remember that the standard of proof is different for each of these cases. In a civil case, a plaintiff must prove a defendant failed to act with reasonable care, and a jury will decide the outcome based on a “preponderance”.
What Is Worse, Domestic Violence or Assault?
The reality of this question is that domestic violence and assault are often intertwined. California’s Code of Criminal Procedure defines assault as the application of any type of harmful force against another person without their consent. “Domestic violence” is a blanket term that applies to any type of harm inflicted among family or household members. This term applies to both direct and indirect harm. For example, physical assault qualifies as domestic violence when it occurs between family members. Threatening a person with bodily harm is assault, but it is only domestic violence if it occurs among family or household members.
Domestic violence that involves physical harm of any kind inflicted on one person by another will lead to severe legal penalties. Victims should report their abuse to police immediately, then contact a Vista domestic violence lawyer to discuss their options.
Domestic Violence in Divorce
If your spouse has engaged in any kind of domestic violence against you or a member of your family or household, it is essential to take legal action immediately. A Vista domestic violence attorney can help you secure a protective order to keep your abuser away from you, your home, your children, and your place of work. Many restraining orders are granted on a temporary basis until a formal hearing is conducted and the defendant has the opportunity to contest the charges.
Your attorney can help you ensure you receive appropriate legal protection beyond this temporary order and ascertain your available legal options. If you need to file for divorce, the police report of your domestic violence incident could dramatically impact your divorce proceedings.
In any California divorce, the divorcing spouses must divide their property under California’s community property statute and determine care and custody of their children, if any. The divorcing couple may also have additional considerations such as who will remain in the family home, if anyone, and agreements for alimony. When domestic violence comes into play in a divorce, the aggressor will have a significantly diminished bargaining position in many of these subjects.
Consequences of Domestic Violence in Divorce
When a married person has engaged in domestic violence against their spouse or another member of their household or family, it can affect the proceedings. This can be all a spouse needs as grounds to file for divorce with fault. California state laws do not require divorcing couples to name a specific reason for filing for divorce. Any couple may file for the reason of “irreconcilable differences” to signify their marriage has simply broken down beyond the point of possible reconciliation.
If someone files for divorce with cause for domestic violence and the other spouse is found guilty, the offender will not have the same ability to argue for child custody or parental rights. They may also be unable to contest alimony and/or child support obligations. A divorcing spouse who has suffered domestic violence will be much more likely to obtain custody of the couple’s children, if any, and this will entitle them to more substantial parental rights as well as the expectation of child support from the other spouse.
The spouse who committed the domestic violence could potentially have no room to argue for custody of their children or even anything beyond limited and supervised visitation. They may also face fines and other legal penalties in addition to civil liability in the event their actions caused civil damages, such as medical expenses or lost income from the victim missing time from work due to their injuries. Any conviction for a serious domestic violence charge can also easily lead to prison time.
Seek Legal Counsel From an Experienced Lawyer Immediately
If you or a loved one has experienced domestic violence of any kind, don’t wait. Meet with a Vista domestic violence attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and being protective order proceedings. If the police responded to the incident of domestic violence in question, a police report will be on file. It will include details of the police’s findings. In this case, you will likely already have a temporary restraining or protective order against the abuser. Your Vista domestic violence lawyer can then determine the best steps to take to protect you and your loved ones from further harm.
When domestic violence plays a role in a divorce or generates civil damages of any kind, the victim must take swift and decisive legal action to recover their losses and hold their abuser accountable. Domestic violence cases can be incredibly challenging in several ways. Having reliable legal representation on your side can help you approach this legal situation with more clarity and confidence. Contact Paula D. Kleinman today if you are ready to discuss your legal options with a compassionate and skilled Vista domestic violence lawyer.