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Domestic Violence Law

Finding the Right Domestic Violence Lawyer for You

Consulting with a Domestic Violence Attorney at Rapaport Law Firm

Domestic Violence is a traumatic ordeal. If you are searching for a domestic violence attorney, you are beginning a legal and emotional journey that involves making some very important decisions. The domestic violence attorneys at Rapaport Law Firm are sensitive to the emotional challenges, confusion, and stress that domestic violence victims experience. Marc Rapaport, who founded our law firm in 1995, has helped clients of all different social-economic backgrounds and ages obtain court orders that provide protection against abuse, and for financial relief (such as child support or maintenance) that enable our firm’s clients to independently move on with their lives. Mr. Rapaport personally handles all domestic violence hearings for our firm’s clients.

We understand that the process of confronting and overcoming an abusive spouse or partner is difficult. We understand the dynamics of battered spouse syndrome. We help you identify and preserve the evidence that you need to get an order of protection. From the first moment you appear at our office, we evaluate all of your options, and we work closely with you to create an effective strategy. Frequently, this involves filing a petition in Family Court. When we go to Family Court with you, we file petitions that request the protection that you need. In addition, if you need child support or maintenance (alimony), we generally file those petitions at the same time. Our attorneys appear in Family Court throughout New York City every week.

If you have children, there are additional issues to be considered. Many women endure harassment, threats and other forms of domestic violence for years, based on their fear of what their children may go through if they were to seek legal protection (such as a Family Court Order of Protection). In fact, psychological experts (as well as judges) unanimously conclude that witnessing domestic violence is profoundly detrimental to children causing children to suffer depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, behavioral issues at school, and other psychological and behavioral problems. Children experience these symptoms even when they simply witness abuse.

You need experienced legal counsel who will guide you through all of the legal remedies and options that are available to you, and who will help you understand your rights. In both New York and New Jersey, victims of domestic violence are afforded a broad array of protective and financial relief under the law. If there are children, the court is authorized to issue an immediate order granting you custody. You need a domestic violence attorney who fully understands the laws and procedures available to help you move on with your life, without the fear of experiencing further acts of domestic abuse.

The Key to Finding the Right Domestic Violence Lawyer: Communication

A good client-lawyer relationship is based on open communication. Your communications with your lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege. This means that the communications between you and your attorney are confidential. This is a sacred precept of American law. It ensures that you are able to make full and frank disclosure to your lawyer, so that he or she can provide you with the most effective advice and representation possible. On many occasions, clients who have come to my office for a consultation find that they are able – sometimes for the first time – share their experiences and suffering that they endured during years of harassment, trauma, and dysfunction. This process, though difficult, can be liberating. It also helps us – working together as a team – carefully plan a legal strategy. In general, there are 5 major goals:

  1. Protection from further physical, emotional, or other abuse;
  2. Financial security – which includes considering whether the client should; immediately obtain a temporary order of temporary maintenance (alimony) or obtain orders preventing their spouse from hiding or squandering marital funds.
  3. If the victim is still married to the abuser, legally dissolving the marital relationship.
  4. If there are children, quickly obtaining an order of custody.  This is usually done simultaneously with the first court appearance.
  5. Achieving the litigation goals in the least expensive way possible, including – where possible – obtaining an order requiring the client’s spouse to pay for legal fees.

At Rapaport Law Firm, we take great professional pride in having helped many clients move on with their lives after suffering from the trauma of domestic violence. Marc Rapaport has been litigating domestic violence cases in New York and New Jersey since 1995

Five Tips For Dealing with Domestic Violence and Getting an Order of Protection

  1. Consult with an Experienced Matrimonial Attorney as Soon As Possible.
  2. Reach Out to the Police. In New York City, each police precinct has a domestic-violence protection officer as well as investigators who visit homes and help arrange for referrals for help.  If the Police believe (i.e., have “probable cause”) that a crime has been committed, they are required to arrest the perpetrator of domestic violence.
  3. Keep copies of all things that could possibly be considered evidence.  Take these items to a safe place, where your abuser will not have access to them.   The specific items that you need to preserve and protect depend on the circumstances of your case.  Some examples include: (a) written letters, notes, cards, computer emails, voicemails, text messages, and other communications in which the abuser threatened you, scared you, apologized to you, or inappropriately tried to control you; (b) photographs and medical records relating to any physical injuries; (c) photographs and receipts relating to any destroyed property; (c) statements from you, neighbors, family members or anyone else that saw or heard what happened; and (d) a copy of the any Domestic Violence Incident Report (DIR) that was given to you by the police.  With respect to text messages, make sure that they are printed and/or emailed to an email address where they will be preserved.
  4. Get an Order of Protection As Soon as Possible.  An Order of Protection is a document issued by a court that may help protect you from harassment or abuse.  Typically, it sets limits on your partner’s behavior – including, quite often, the requirement that your partner stay away from you (also known as a “stay away order”.   A judge can also issue an order directing that your spouse or partner stay away from any children of the relationship.
  5. If you are married to the abuser – or if there are children of the relationship – you should gather and protect financial records, so that you have the evidence you need to deal with any financial or support issues.  The Family Court can enter immediate, temporary orders for child support and/or maintenance.
Areas of Practice
Contact Information
One Penn Plaza
Suite 2430
New York, New York 10119
Phone: 212.382.1600
Facsimile: 212-382-0920