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Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

LEGAL GUIDANCE FOR ATLANTA RESIDENTS IN FAMILY LAW MATTERS

An important legal tool available to victims of domestic violence is a Restraining Order, by which an abuser can be legally barred from contacting the person or persons he or she has victimized. If you need assistance in obtaining a Restraining Order, family law attorney Thomas C. Rowsey may be able to assist you. He has proudly served Atlanta residents for over two decades in a variety of matters, including those involving domestic violence. Our clients come from communities throughout Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb Counties, including Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, and Roswell.

WHAT CONSTITUTES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Broadly, domestic violence is any harmful interaction between individuals who share a close personal relationship. These include current or former spouses as well as parents, children, step-parents, step-children, foster parents, and foster children. It also may extend to any persons who currently live or formerly lived in the same household, such as a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, roommate, or relative. Another relationship in which domestic violence may occur is between the mother and father of a child, whether or not the couple cohabited or were married.

Domestic violence includes physical, psychological, sexual, or economic abuse, as well as stalking. This means that victims can obtain protection not only from overt acts of physical violence, but from threats or any other conduct that places the victim in reasonable fear that the threatened harm will imminently occur. Normally, domestic violence does not usually relate to an isolated incident unless there is actual physical injury. It often entails a pattern of threats and conduct that causes a victim to experience persistent fear and intimidation.

PURSUING A RESTRAINING ORDER

A Restraining Order, or Temporary Protection Order (TPO), is a legal order issued by a judge that essentially orders a domestic abuser to leave the victim alone or face serious legal consequences. A TPO is issued by a judge at a hearing during which both sides have the opportunity to present their positions. In most cases, the duration of a TPO is up to one year, but it may be extended for up to three years. In some cases, it may be made permanent.

In order to be granted a TPO, you must be able to prove that the person whom you want to restrain has committed acts of domestic violence and that you need the TPO in accordance with the specific conditions requested in your petition.

In order to meet the first element, you need evidence. Although the standard for granting a TPO is lower than what is needed to obtain a criminal conviction, you need more than a mere allegation. Evidence may include eyewitness accounts, testimony of medical professionals, medical records, photographs, and police reports. You can also provide personal testimony outlining specific facts as to what was said and done at particular dates and times.

Furthermore, your petition needs to specify the relief you are seeking, such as:

  • Requiring the abuser to refrain from any type of contact;
  • Granting you temporary custody of any children, including ordering temporary support and providing terms for visitation;
  • Giving you possession of any dwelling currently shared, or requiring the abuser to provide alternate suitable housing;
  • Requiring the abuser to obtain counseling; and
  • Ordering law enforcement to assist you in recovering personal property.

A TPO will also provide that a violation by the abuser will lead to arrest on criminal charges.

DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS AFTER AN ACT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WITH AN ATLANTA ATTORNEY

Hiring an attorney to represent you when petitioning for a TPO is a wise idea. In domestic violence cases especially, an experienced professional can give you the guidance you need to prepare your case thoroughly and improve your likelihood of obtaining a TPO that specifies with exactness the protection that you need from your abuser. In addition, after you obtain the TPO, your attorney will be able to provide you with critical advice and assistance in taking the steps necessary to make sure it is enforced by a court in the Atlanta area. Contact the divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of Thomas C. Rowsey at (770) 993-5317, or use our online form to set up a free initial consultation.

Thomas Rowsey, Attorneys at Law

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 6 reviews

GAAW Wright

Tom has been our attorney for many years. He has been with us through thick and thin. He has successfully handled all our queries and cases with patience and understanding. We highly recommend Tom!

Rusty Sendabrick

We had a personal legal issue and were referred to Mr. Rowsey by our business attorney in Alpharetta. Mr. Rowsey and his team were professional and efficient in handling the issue and we are pleased with their efforts. We recommend Mr. Rowsey and would utilize his services again if needs were to arise.

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David O'Reilly

My family and I moved to Roswell from Chicago over ten years ago. At that time, we were referred to Tom to assist us with some of our legal needs. Since then he has become a trusted friend we consider to be our family attorney. The comfort in being able to speak candidly with him and know that he understands our concerns is invaluable. Tom is a man of integrity, vast experience (more than 25 years), who has an exceptional knowledge of the law. Impeccable ethics and an unparalleled work ethic make him an outstanding attorney who is capable, though, and diligent. I recommend him highly to anyone in need of sound legal counsel.

Corey Rennolds

At all times for the duration of my case, Tom demonstrated professionalism, confidence, and honesty. At no point was I pressured to make any one decision over another, but Tom did his best to inform me about the consequences and benefits of all of my options. If he did not know some specific detail regarding my case, he made the effort to find out. Tom instantly exudes trustworthiness and was always in steady contact. I would recommend his services to anyone.

Justina Allen

I met Tom over 10 years ago after settling in Roswell with my family. I have learned over the years that Tom is a man of high integrity, genuine and extremely knowledgeable in his field. Along with being honest, he is a straight shooter and will let you know where you stand. He will provide you with personal attention you don’t get at bigger firms and will go the extra mile. As legal matters can be frightening to deal with, Tom will guide you through the process and get you the results you need. You couldn’t ask for a better person to be fighting for you.