Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”
With a stay-at-home order in North Carolina and nearly every other state during the coronavirus pandemic, the issue of domestic violence has come to the forefront of attention as victims are stuck in the house with their abuser for long periods of time with little to no opportunity to call for help.
Many U.S. cities have already noted a spike in domestic violence cases and calls to local hotlines, according to CNN. The report said that nine of the 20 largest metropolitan police departments across the U.S. deported “double-digit percentage jumps” in domestic violence-related 911 calls in March compared to last year’s March and this year’s January and February.
What to do if You are a Victim of Domestic Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If you are being abused by your spouse or intimate partner during the COVID-19 lockdown, call the police as soon as you can. Also, if necessary, find a safe place to stay on a temporary basis to avoid re-assault. Ask a friend or family member to provide temporary shelter.
Then, go to the courthouse in your county that handles restraining orders and submit a request for an order of protection. In most counties, the court reviews the petition immediately and issues a temporary order of protection upon finding probable cause.
Often, restraining orders prohibit the abuser from having contact with the victim. Following the temporary order, the court will schedule a hearing to determine whether a more extensive order is required. While you can represent yourself at the hearing, it would be a good idea to hire a Charlotte domestic violence attorney to request:
- Temporary financial support; and
- An order restricting the abuser’s visitation with the children.
Find out if you can withhold child visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
High Number of Coronavirus-Related Complaints of Domestic Violence
Between March 16 and April 6, the National Domestic Violence Hotline received more than 2,300 calls in which coronavirus was cited as a condition of abuse. However, while some victims are able to call for help, many do not even have an opportunity to make a phone call because they are confined to their homes with their abuser.
Domestic violence victims are more likely to suffer abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic simply because they have no other place to go due to North Carolina’s stay-at-home order’s quarantine measures. Also, factors such as financial uncertainty and fear of infection increase the risk of domestic violence during the pandemic.
How to Prove Domestic Violence to Obtain a Restraining Order?
Many victims do not realize that their testimony alone can be sufficient evidence to grant a restraining order. In fact, anything you present in court that supports your allegations can be used as admissible evidence, including testimony, text messages, pictures, and even the testimony of other witnesses.
But what if there is no substantial evidence of abuse? What if the abuse left no visible injuries, and there are no witnesses? This could be the victim’s testimony against that of the abuser. Although it can be tricky to prove domestic violence without any evidence, your testimony could still make a difference.
If you are abused by your spouse and considering filing for divorce, contact our Charlotte family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to assist you with seeking a protective order during these unprecedented times. Get a phone or video consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.
The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.
See Our Related Video from our YouTube channel:
See Our Related Blog Posts: