FAQs for divorce gavel image

Recently, there has been a lot of attention towards Ray Rice and his wife on their case surrounding domestic violence.

A few months ago, a tape surfaced of Ray Rice striking his then fiancée, now wife, and dragging her limp body from an elevator. As with this case, any situation with domestic violence is tricky and something that is unfortunately more common than one might think. In these cases, it is important for a victim to know their rights and available protections.

Seeking Protection

The big question surrounding this issue is, “When can I seek protection?” The Family Violence statute can help you determine if your situation warrants this protection.

The statute says that ’”family violence’ means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between past or present… persons living or formerly living in the same household: 
 (1) Any felony; or

 (2) Commission of offenses of battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass.”1

If your situation applies to any of the above acts, you can seek protection through the Family Violence statute.

What forms of protection/relief are available?

If you are suffering from domestic violence and would like to seek relief, here are some insights into the process:

  • Call the Police: The police will take a report and record any evidence of violence.
  • Immediate Protection: After application, you gain immediate protection until your court date, which will usually occur within 10 days, and is required to be heard no later than 30 days.
  • Protection Timeline: If you are granted protection after your court hearing, the Temporary Protection Order (TPO) lasts for a year, upon which you may file for renewal if you wish to continue this grant.
  • Children: If you are concerned for the safety of your children, you may apply to include them under this grant of protection.
  • Jail Time: The accused does not immediately go to jail upon application. Criminal charges must be requested separately. The police may, or may not, on their own accord request that an arrest warrant issue. This varies depending upon jurisdiction.

Let Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor help you

With four offices in Georgia, located in Atlanta, Marietta, Alpharetta and Dunwoody, our domestic violence attorneys serve families throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, and have any questions or would like to seek our help, please call (678) 971-3413 or complete our contact form.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911 and seek the help of your local law enforcement.

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