By Attorney Jennifer Schulte: Not many people realize how critical and game changing a domestic violence injunction can be. A judge will normally look at a petition for an injunction within hours of submission. If the one-sided claims qualify for granting the petition, the process is almost automatic. The injunction will be in place
immediately and has far-reaching consequences for the Respondent.
After an domestic violence injunction is granted there will be a followup hearing, called a return hearing. .A return hearing on a domestic violence injunction is basically a TRIAL. If the court imposes an injunction against you there are serious implications. A violation of an injunction takes what was a civil matter and now there are criminal consequences. If you have an injunction against you and you contact the victim, the victim’s family or victim’s friend(s) you may find out that there is a violation of the injunction filed against you. The police can take you into custody and you may find yourself with criminal charges. If you are going through a domestic relations case in family court, an injunction can impact time sharing, child support and spousal support. Often, the party who is labeled the defendant or respondent in an injunction proceeding will need to vacate the marital residence. This means that the “victim” will have the opportunity to remain in the marital home, usually with the minor children.
Judges will not often order spousal support through an injunction but may order the defendant to continue paying the marital bills (mortgage/rent, utilities, cable, etc.) as well as order temporary child support. Depending on whether the judge believes the children are in danger, there will usually be some type of monitored exchange or supervised contact. If there is a pending family law proceeding it is possible for the two cases to be unified which means the domestic violence injunction court will now have jurisdiction over the domestic relations matter (unified family court). The judge who hears the evidence against you concerning the domestic violence action will now have the ability to decide your final hearing related to equitable distribution, alimony, attorney’s fees, parenting plan and child support.
There is little you can do about the initial one-sided process where the injunction may be issued. But the followup hearing is your chance to either “wipe it away” or live with the consequences. It is extremely important to retain counsel that is familiar with both domestic relations law and criminal law. You cannot go back to the beginning an redo everything after the return hearing. So it is important to do your best and bring resources to the situation – such as a good domestic violence injunction attorney.
Domestic Violence Injunction Attorney
Jennifer Schulte specialize in domestic relations, domestic violence and criminal law. The three areas of law can become interchangeable and your actions in one case may have severe consequences in the other cases. Choose wisely when retaining counsel to represent you in these critical matters.