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What it means to serve clients in domestic violence scenarios

Without a doubt individuals, parents, and children facing a history of domestic violence have a major burden to uphold. These challenges do not go away quickly and unfortunately are difficult to work through. However, there are resources available to help you. Finding that assistance is not obvious in all cases. Being able to maneuver through the family courts takes patience and an eye for detail. 

Obtaining a protective order appears straightforward until it comes time to apply for one. While this is ongoing there are real-world concerns about your safety and that of your children. It is an overwhelming situation to find yourself in. However, acting intentionally and with purpose can propel you towards a better future. This is where the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan truly excel. 

The role of a family court in the “protection” process

Family courts play a vital role in the process of protecting families during times of family violence. Remedies exist for people in your position who want safety and stability for their families. However, it can appear daunting to someone on the outside looking in. Having never been exposed to the legal system and now facing major safety issues it is important to know where to turn. Working with an experienced group of attorneys like those with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is ideal.

An attorney with the heart of a teacher crafts orders on behalf of domestic violence survivors that protect victims and their families. For example, your abuser’s spouse should not have access to your children for a long time after incident(s) of violence. Restricting access to your children means supervised visitation. These supervised visitation sessions occur in various places. Some facilities exist for the sole purpose of facilitating supervised visitation sessions.

Exchanging your children with your co-parent is an often overlooked hazard. For many families, it is not a major issue. One parent comes to the home of the other parent and waits for the children to come out. When a visitation period is over the children are brought back. This is repeated throughout the year. However, when family violence is involved, this may not work. Deciding to exchange the kids in public at a business of some sort works better in some situations. 

Safety versus the best interests of children

The presumption at the beginning of a child custody case is that children are best served having a relationship with both parents. In other words, it is in the best interests of your child to have a relationship with you and your co-parent. That’s what the presumption is, at least. However, how that presumption plays out in real life is anything but straightforward. 

An analysis is performed where many factors are considered in terms of the best interests of your children. Their health, safety, educational future, development, and the aptitude of both parents are considered. The presumption discussed above may not hold, therefore. What was presumed to be in the child’s best interests may not end up that way. This is an important consideration when we discuss family violence issues. 

Supervised visitation is a component of many parenting plans immediately after family violence occurs. This supervision typically begins at the exchange of children and continues throughout the visitation period. Overnight visits are usually put on hold until a later date. The safety of the children matters a great deal in this regard. Eventually, an abuser may have their visitation expanded once their behavior merits it. 

Ask for what you want from a court

As a parent, you are always able to at least ask for the visitation orders you want. It is not a given that you get what you want, however. That said, the requests you make cannot be granted if you do not ask for them. This seems obvious but many parents neglect to plead for their desired outcomes in divorce and child custody petitions. This puts you in an awkward position. Instead, work with your attorney to thoroughly discuss the issues of your case. Then, ask for the relief you need from the court. 

It is a balancing act to protect you and your children. At the same time, allowing for some degree of contact between your co-parent and the kids is considered. Violence in the home is never acceptable. You and your children are placed in danger when these events occur. However, it is not the desired outcome in every domestic violence case to bar the abuser from seeing the kids ever. 

This may be an appropriate goal temporarily. Rarely is it in the best interests of the children to prevent them from seeing your co-parent ever. Even abusive parents have bonds with children. Children who witness violence in the home are simultaneously more likely to be victims and become victimizers. Allowing your children some access to your co-parent helps give your children closure on the episodes of harm.

Supervised visitation is key to protecting families after abuse

Because the protection of you and your family is critical, alternative methods of visitation are necessary. Exchanging the kids at your home is not the best option when abuse has occurred. Thereafter, allowing for exchanges at a supervised visitation facility helps concerned families. Again, working with an experienced family law attorney assists in creating orders that facilitate this. 

Asking for supervised visitation in a general sense does not accomplish your goals, however. What you need to focus on is taking supervised visitation to the next level. Ask specifically where you want the supervised visitation to occur. Pick up and drop off? The entire weekend? Short periods of supervised visitation initially? Ask for the help you want. Making a blanket request is easy but does not lead to good outcomes. 

Particularly in a situation with family violence, your choice of attorney matters. Hiring an attorney with general family law experience does not provide you with an advantage. You need a lawyer who has served clients in situations involving family violence. Talk with your prospective attorney about their experience working with domestic violence survivors. Find out their comfort and experiences before hiring him or her. 

Family law cases need situation-specific remedies

Of all the areas of the law, family law cases require the most thorough investigation of circumstances. Consequently, the court orders for one family cannot be transposed onto your case. There needs to be thought put into how your case differs from the other families who go through the court system. Taking the time to plan out your case may not be a luxury you can afford. However, stabilizing your life provides an opportunity to consider these issues.

To conclude, knowing your options is key in a family law case. The courts of Texas have resources for families facing family violence. Being able to gain efficient access to those resources matters. Many families spend a lot of time searching for help at the beginning of a case. Working out these issues in advance of a family law case is possible, however. Beginning this process means thinking about what sort of protective plan is best for your family.

Therefore, working with an experienced attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan provides clarity and stability. Our attorneys understand the dynamics of a family case involving domestic violence. We take seriously the need to provide protection and strong orders for the long term. Please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan with any questions you may have. 

Parenting plans for worried parents

Having concerns with where to go from here? That is completely normal. Feeling overwhelmed with the challenges of a family law case impacts most people in your shoes. However, you also have the obstacle of family violence staring you in the face. Meeting that obstacle means taking it head-on rather than avoiding it. This is not an issue which resolves itself. Rather, taking a proactive approach to solving these issues matters a great deal. 

When children are a part of a family law case involving domestic violence planning out custody orders is step one. Allowing your children to leave your sight may be a painful thought at the moment. However, most family law cases involve integrating possession and visitation exchanges. When and where this is possible depends upon your specific circumstances. A one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for your or any other family law case. 

Balancing safety and the best interests of your children matters in a family law case. Many times parents will air on the side of caution to a great extent after facing domestic violence. This is a reasonable reaction. However, ultimately what is in your child’s best interest may be to try and strengthen their relationship with your co-parent. There are benefits to this type of planning in a family law case.

Co-parenting after Domestic violence

One of the more difficult aspects of a family law case involving domestic violence is needing to parent with that person afterward your instincts are telling you to never associate yourself with that person again. However, when you share children with a domestic abuser that isn’t always possible. In most cases, the relationship between your co-parent and your children remains. With that in mind, you need to be able to manage your relationship with him or her.

At first, communication with this person should be minimal. There is no reason to immediately go back to the person to seek out any kind of resolution. That type of conversation is appropriate after time has passed. You may want to attempt counseling with your children to alleviate the emotional burdens of the event. However, given enough time reconciliation with your abuser to a certain extent is possible.

However, you need to evaluate your case based on your specific circumstances. It may be that in your case this type of reconciliation is not in anyone’s best interests. The threat of ongoing domestic abuse hangs over the situation like a dark cloud. Your job as a parent is to protect yourself, and your children and to make decisions in the best interests of your children.

Deciding to move forward with the family law case

Whether you are in a situation involving a divorce or child custody case taking the first step is most difficult. This relates to any number of subjects. For instance, being able to make the difficult decision to leave the family home is hard. This is true even when there have been instances of violence in that home. There is a strong emotional tug for most people to their family home.

The decision to leave the home should be based on your future goals and safety. One instance of domestic violence in the home is enough to justify leaving. Even the threat of domestic violence in the home is enough to justify leaving. Listen to your instincts and do not ignore them. So many people regret not listening to their instincts and remaining in a bad situation. That option time allows for worse results to occur than the person even imagined.

One of the important questions that people tend to ask in this situation is how to leave. For those of us on the outside looking in it may seem obvious when it comes to leaving a dangerous house. However, anyone who has been involved in a domestic disturbance can tell you that it is not always so easy. Therefore, having a plan ahead of time is important when it comes to resolving this type of situation.

Having a plan to leave your home

one of the important parts of voiding harm from domestic violence is removing yourself from the situation. It is not always possible to anticipate a situation becoming violent. You should not feel bad or guilty for not seeing the writing on the wall. However, once domestic violence has occurred in the home you should develop a plan to leave the home. That is better to not leave this to the last minute.

As they say, practice makes perfect. An exit strategy involves practicing how you and your family will leave the home. It is not enough to simply have an exit plan. Rather, practicing that exit plan and fine-tuning it are essential. Many people who experience domestic violence avoid future harm by having a plan like this.

How will you and your children leave the home? What door allows for the quickest access to a vehicle or an open area? Do your vehicles need to be serviced or repaired to allow for you to leave? Having medication and other essential items ready to travel is helpful as well. Assuming that you will be able to grab whatever you need at the last minute is a mistake. Instead, plan to avoid problems.

Household tips to minimize the risk of domestic violence

Ultimately, there is only so much you can control in your household. Do not assume that you have ultimate authority or power to prevent domestic violence from occurring. Being proactive and having a plan is important period however, you can only control your actions. That said, there are strategies to bear in mind as you plan to avoid instances of family violence.

For one, do not initiate arguments or discussions with a potential abuser in the kitchen. This may sound like random advice at first but bear with me on this. The kitchen contains many items that can be used as a weapon. This includes knives, silverware, kitchen utensils, and other items. Arguing with someone in the kitchen means that these items are made available to that person.

If at all possible avoid discussions like this when you are not in an open area. It is unavoidable to have discussions with your potential abuser in some situations. However, being able to quickly get to an exit is ideal. Therefore, an open area like the yard or living room gives you a better chance to avoid domestic violence in the home. Again, there is only so much you can do when you are living with a person who is prone to violence. However, it does not hurt to have a plan and to practice that plan.

Final thoughts on domestic violence and family law cases

Unfortunately, domestic violence is a reality for many people going through family law cases. When you find yourself in a dangerous situation you need to concern yourself with the safety of yourself and your children first period everything else comes second. We hope that the material shared in today’s blog post will assist you in devising a plan or strategy aimed at avoiding harm and seeking a better life for yourself.

If you have any questions about the material in this blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan    

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. Interested in learning more about how your family is impacted by the material in this blog post? Contact us today.

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