Unfortunately, at our Long Island Family Law firm we see far too many situations in which a parent needs to protect him or herself, and/or his or her children from an abusive partner or ex-partner. Below are two options available to anyone who needs to seek protection from an abusive ex-partner.
#1. File an Order of Protection:
An Order of Protection, sometimes referred to as an OP, is a court order that will direct one party to stay away from the other, or, to refrain from engaging in certain activity directed at the other. An Order of Protection may also contain additional instruction that the abuser must follow, such as refraining from the place of business of the victim or refraining from any telephone contact, etc.
All Abuse is Not Physical
There is a common misconception that in order to qualify for an Order of Protection the abuse must be physical. While physical abuse such as punching, kicking, slapping and choking are certainly unacceptable and subject to an Order of Protection, other forms of abuse are also not tolerated. These other forms of abuse may take shape as emotional, mental or even financial abuse. All listed forms of abuse are patterns of behavior that can be dealt with in an Order of Protection in a Long Island court.
You can receive an Order of Protection by filing a Petition with a court of proper jurisdiction. Once the Petition is filed, the abuser will be served with legal papers. A county sheriff will personally serve the papers on the abuser so that the court can ensure the abuser receives notice of the Petition and has an opportunity to be heard at the hearing.
Temporary Orders of Protection Are Immediate
Immediately upon filing the Petition, a Temporary Order of Protection will be put in place until a hearing is held. This hearing could occur the very next time you appear in court, but it could also be held after a few more appearances. Whether the former or latter, the Temporary Order of Protection will remain in place until your hearing. Once a hearing is held, if a final Order of Protection is granted, it will be effective for two to five years. If the abuser violates either Order of Protection (Temporary or Final) the victim should immediately call the police. The abuser will be arrested and put in jail.
#2. Involve Child Protective Services in the Matter:
Child Protective Proceedings are initiated to determine whether a child is or may be in danger of abuse or neglect. Abuse is defined by Long Island courts as any behavior that results, or is likely to result, in serious physical injury to the child, or any sexual offense. If child abuse is suspected by anyone, including school faculty, doctors, social workers, or family members, the suspicion may be reported to Child Protective Services (CPS). If you believe that your partner or ex-partner may be abusing your children, you should immediately report it to CPS. If CPS determines that the child is the subject of abuse or neglect after its investigation, the appropriate action will be instituted in the Family Court.
Depending on the circumstances of each case, possible outcomes of Child Protective Proceedings may include placing the child in foster care while services such as parenting classes are provided to the abusive parent or the court may decide to release the child to a fit and willing relative who will care for the child. Some of the proceedings will require the parent or guardian address and correct problematic behaviors, such as anger management or substance or alcohol abuse.
While Child Protective Proceedings are some of the most sensitive matters involved in practicing Family Law, our Long Island Family Law Firm has had many years of experience assisting Long Island families in these matters. Parents are entitled to certain rights when it comes to their children, but the court’s first and foremost concern will always be the safety and well-being of the child. It is thus very important to have an experienced Family Law Attorney assist you in balancing these two doctrines so that both you and your child are safe and happy.
Get Your Free Consultation with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Because of the very sensitive nature of abusive situations, it is critical that parents seek the counsel of a Long Island Family Law Attorney who has experience representing families such as yours. Our firm is experienced in representing parents in both Order of Protection and Child Protective Proceedings. If you are involved in either situation, please call our Office at 631-923-1910 and schedule your free consultation with our experienced Long Island Family Law Attorneys.
While physical abuse such as punching, kicking, slapping and choking are certainly unacceptable and subject to an Order of Protection, other forms of abuse are also not tolerated. These other forms of abuse may take shape as emotional, mental or even financial abuse. All listed forms of abuse are patterns of behavior that can be dealt with in an Order of Protection in a Long Island court or require the involvement of or Child Protective Services.
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