Domestic violence charges are treated very seriously in Georgia. Even before a person is found guilty of criminal assault charges, he or she is likely to face civil sanctions such as removal from the family home, as well as temporary restraining orders (TRO) that prevent the accused from having any contact with the alleged victim. If someone violates a restraining order, he or she can be jailed and charged with a separate crime.
Charges of domestic violence often arise in connection with divorce. In some cases, spousal abuse is one of the reasons the victim is seeking a divorce. However, there are also high-conflict divorces where one spouse makes false allegations of domestic violence against the other in order to gain the upper hand in a child custody, alimony, or property division dispute.
Georgia also has a law protecting victims of family violence. The parties do not have to be married in order for a victim to ask the court for relief. However, the parties have to reside in the same household. The following groups may be provided relief from family violence:
- Past and present spouses
- Parents and children
- Stepparents and stepchildren
- Foster parents and foster children
- Other persons living or formerly living in the same household
- Persons that are parents of the same child
The only non-protected groups are those who are dating or have dated but have never lived together. However, the criminal statutes and a normal restraining order may be used for these scenarios. The victim must file a petition seeking protection from further acts of family violence in the superior court. The petition will verify that the victim alleges that one or more acts of family violence has occurred in the past and are likely to occur in the future. If the victim is a minor, an adult must file the petition on his or her behalf. The petition is filed in the county in which the respondent resides. If the respondent lives out of state, then the petition is filed in the county where the incident occurred.
Our Domestic Violence Attorneys
If you are experiencing domestic violence, we will fight to protect you and can help you acquire a temporary restraining order. We understand the laws designed to protect you and will fight tirelessly to do so. We will also fight hard to protect children in domestic violence situations. If you are experiencing domestic violence, please reach out to us and give us a call at (678) 971-3413.
Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor also represents those who are accused of domestic violence. If you are involved in a domestic violence situation, contact us today to speak with a highly trained and experienced domestic violence attorney.