Domestic Violence Case Studies

Domestic Violence Victim Obtains Custody, Support, and PFA Order

The mother of a three-year-old child retained us when the father of their child struck her in an argument, injured her, and scared their child, who observed the assault and then moved out to live with his girlfriend. Our client, the mother, was a homemaker caring for their child in her own residence gifted by her parents. The father was a dentist with a thriving professional practice, with a history of striking up live-in arrangements with girlfriends, one of whom had been our client. Our client's goal in our retention was to never see the father again, obtain sole physical custody of their child, and obtain a support order. We promptly filed the civil action, obtaining the court's protection from abuse (PFA) order and seeking custody and support. The father did not contest the PFA order or contest custody but did dispute child support. We obtained wage records from the father's professional practice, on which we calculated the appropriate support. The father and his counsel consented to the entry of a custody and support order based on the reported income that preserved the PFA order in place and granted our client sole physical and legal custody. While the order provided for the father's parenting time or visitation, the exchange would be through a third party for no contact between mother and father. The mother did not expect the father to exercise those visitation or parenting time rights.

Woman Avoids Domestic Violence Charge While Obtaining Mutual Restraint

The former roommate and romantic partner of a symphony conductor retained us to avoid a domestic violence criminal charge while obtaining a mutual restraining order against the conductor. Our client was a professional vocalist who lived and often traveled nationally and internationally with the conductor up until the incident. The conductor's court filing in which the conductor obtained a protection from abuse (PFA) order against our client, alleged that our client struck, kicked, and bit the conductor in a dispute over romantic liaisons and relationships with others. Our client maintained that she had no such relationships, that she had learned of the conductor's relationships, and that she had attempted to order him out of their apartment in an argument. Our client further maintained that the conductor had attempted to restrain and possibly sexually assault her in that argument, as a result of which she had resisted physically in self-defense. We helped our client discern that her goal was never to see the conductor again while avoiding criminal domestic violence charges and setting the public record straight as far as possible. Our strategic approach was to seek a mutual restraint through a filing for a PFA order in the same court, consolidated with the conductor's existing PFA case. With our client's consent, we made that filing alleging the conductor's own misconduct while denying our client's misconduct. The judge granted our client's PFA request. Neither party contested the continuance of the PFA orders, which the judge modified with mutual consent to enable the parties to continue their professional work.

Mother Obtains Criminal Charges Relating to Domestic Violence Incident

The mother of an infant child retained us to preserve her child custody and gain child support while getting a protection from abuse (PFA) order and holding the father accountable for the assault and domestic violence he committed against her. Our client related that the father, with whom she did not live but with whom she had a long-standing romantic relationship, had hit, shoved, injured, and threatened her when she had informed him that she was going to seek child support if he did not voluntarily provide her with reasonable support. Our client maintained that the father's threats included that he would kill her if she filed a support action. We promptly filed the civil action for the PFA order and for child support while assisting our client in her communications with law enforcement. Our client related to law enforcement that the father owned weapons and had told her in the past that he had made effective threats against others. The civil court issued our client the PFA order. The prosecutor filed criminal charges against the father, leading to his arrest and incarceration on the charges. The father pled guilty to a reduced charge. The civil court judge continued the PFA order and order, granted our client's request for sole physical and legal custody, and granted child support.

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