Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
(770) 676-1191
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How can I protect myself, my kids in disputes involving violence?

Domestic violence is a serious concern for families and spouses all across Georgia. Victims of violence can feel isolated, helpless and embarrassed while kids who witness violent or abusive behavior in their home can feel scared and anxious. It can create a hostile, terrifying home environment, but at the same time many people in this situation are too fearful of leaving it.

That's why it is so important that appropriate measures be taken to protect those who ultimately do decide to leave a dangerous home and/or violent spouse. If you or a loved one is in this position and you are trying to understand what can happen in situations involving divorce and domestic violence, it can be crucial to understand that there are options and protective measures put in place by state laws.

Victims of domestic violence can secure an order for protection that will require a violent spouse or other person away from them. Temporary restraining orders, or TROs, can keep a person from contacting or being near a person for roughly 30 days. If you want a longer order of protection, you can pursue a Family Violence Protection Order which can be in place for up to three years.

Any violation of a protective order can lead to serious penalties including jail time, fines and a criminal record. It could also impact a divorce settlement and orders for child custody and visitation.

It is also important to note that victims of domestic violence don't need to sit across from an alleged violent spouse in mediation to resolve family legal conflicts. As noted in this document, the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution states that mediation is not an appropriate method of resolving disputes when family violence is involved. While people can certainly choose to pursue mediation, cases involving allegations of abuse will not automatically be sent to mediation.

Because of the difficult emotions and concerns about safety that accompany matters involving domestic violence and divorce or child custody, it can be wise for victims, perpetrators and those who have been wrongfully accused to have legal representation throughout any dispute.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
Lawrenceville Law Office Map

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