As a Chicago domestic violence lawyer, my first duty is providing all citizens with their Constitutional right to a fair trial, no matter what crime they have been accused of. I am also responsible for ensuring that those who are falsely accused are given back their freedom and their good name. However, I also see the pain of domestic violence – for the victims, the perpetrators, and those who are wrongly accused – and it has made me passionate about putting an end to the problem of domestic violence.
Category: Domestic Violence
What to do when you or someone else has suffered from domestic violence. Legal advice and news from family lawyers.
Domestic violence is a serious issue and should never be discounted as anything else. However, not all of these charges are valid and actually false domestic violence accusations can be quite common, particularly in certain situations. If you are facing false charges of this type of offense, it can be confusing and maddening. However, there is a way to deal with it and ensure that you are not wrongfully accused and prosecuted for a crime you didn’t commit.
I have had potential clients ask me, often with a cautious hope, whether their particular type of legal matter, is something that they can handle for themselves. It is a question one would never ask a physician, an electrician, or an auto mechanic, but one that I believe, is often asked of attorneys. I tell those individuals that the answer to that question depends on how comfortable they are with understanding and researching the law, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, rebutting legal arguments, and making a persuasive argument to the judge. Really, though, it is how quickly a person can gain and condense the specialized education and 26 years of experience that I have, into the time that person has to prepare for their hearing.
Editors’ note: see our guide to some of the best US divorce attorneys here.
Recently, I appeared in Hillsborough County Court, in Tampa, for a Small Claims Pretrial Conference before Judge Gabbard. My client was being sued over a nominal credit card debt, the type of case that over the past five years, has been prosecuted with greater and greater frequency. Like many different types of court divisions, such as traffic, criminal or even some family divisions, the court calendar was a cattle call. Of that the cases on that calendar, two individuals had decided to represent themselves. The first was being sued, on behalf of a debt to a person who had owned the company he had recently purchased. As the plaintiff was not suing the company, only the former owner, this was a debt for which the individual standing in Court was not responsible, and legally, could never be held responsible. The plaintiff’s attorney was not about to point this out to the defendant, though he did try to change the subject whenever the judge tried to imply to the defendant—judges cannot give legal advice to either party, that the plaintiff had sued the wrong person. Without any help or advice from an attorney, the defendant proceeded into a side room of the courtroom, and began discussing the terms of a repayment plan for settling a debt that he did not owe. The second, unrepresented litigant, was a young woman suing someone on a debt. In explaining to the judge why she had not gotten service on the defendant, she expressed frustration that the Sheriff’s process server did not do more to serve the defendant, when she was convinced the address she had provided was correct. Again the judge could not advise this plaintiff, all she could do was reschedule the case for another pretrial conference, and tell the plaintiff to make sure she obtained service on the defendant.
In less than five minutes after their hearings, I told each of these strangers what they needed to know before and for the next time each comes to Court—perhaps to the irritation of the collection agency attorneys gathered in the Court room. The two pro se litigants were fortunate that I did so, but the point is, neither of these individuals had any business going into Court without an attorney, or without even having consulted an attorney.
While these situations played out in the civil division of the Hillsborough County Court, I have encountered similar situations in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, especially in the context of Family Law cases. I think in every domestic violence calendar (the hearings in which a Family Law Division Judge rules on entering or dismissing injunctions for the protection against domestic violence (commonly known as, “restraining orders”), that I have attended, at least one unrepresented respondent agreed to an injunction being entered against him. Similarly, at least one unrepresented petitioner agreed to dismiss her attempt to get an injunction. In those situations, no testimony is taken, the judge moves onto the next case, and I am not sure the individual parties know exactly what just happened. And for those injunction cases in which one party has an attorney and the other does not? There is clearly a mismatch, as the one without the attorney is required to follow the same procedural and evidentiary rules that govern the actual attorney. As long as the lawyer is on his or her game, the pro se litigant will be kept from testifying to what someone else told him or her (hearsay) and kept from showing the judge what some law enforcement agency wrote about the incident (more hearsay). From a professional standpoint, this makes for a very effective and satisfying presentation on the part of the attorney, and a very ineffective and even frustrating presentation on the part of the person representing himself or herself. Why then, do pro se litigants go into that dark night so easily and willingly?
I am sure finances have much to do with it. But given the number of attorneys out there, it is hard to believe a party cannot find an attorney whose fee requirements, or payment plan, can fit their budget. And even if one cannot afford to have an attorney there beside them, at least they should consult with one beforehand, to get a better idea of their rights and how to handle the hearing. I am willing to bet that almost every private and practicing attorney in a county, state or country, will sit down with a potential client, upon request, and advise them of their rights in the area of the attorney’s expertise. Depending on the attorney and the attorney’s experience, it might cost a consultation fee, but the knowledge the person receives, will be well worth the value—both when walking in the courtroom, and when walking out.
Your Family Lawyer
Attorney Hanks, P.A.
The shocking photo of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s husband choking her in a restaurant began a worldwide dialogue on domestic violence in 2013. Most victims of domestic violence do not get such public attention. Instead, they feel shame and hide their abuse from family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Or, both the victim and the abuser make excuses, as Lawson’s husband Charles Saatchi did when he told the press“it was a playful tiff.”
The downplaying of such incidents by both perpetrators and victims is why many people are unaware of how serious and prevalent domestic violence is across the globe.Sadly, domestic violence against women is a plague in many societies. In a widely-published study from June 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated“intimate partner violence affects 30% of women worldwide.” Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO, stated“These findings send a powerful message that violence against women is a global health problem of epidemic proportions.”
In her statement, Dr. Chan highlights an important fact: while men do make up a small portion of the victims of domestic violence, by far the majority of victims are women.
What Causes Domestic Violence?
Surprisingly, many people blame the victims of domestic violence, thus releasing the aggressor from the responsibility of the violence committed. Victims are either accused of directly “provoking” their abusers or simply seen as given what they deserve; most often, they even start blaming themselves for the attacks.
In reality, there are many causes of domestic violence, and often there are multiple causes for a single incident. Researchers have identified several specific factors that seem to play a role in creating episodes of domestic violence or in shaping individuals to have a greater propensity toward domestic violence. These are just a few of the primary causes:
Drugs and alcohol. According to the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug & Other Addiction Services, violent men abuse drugs and alcohol at three times the rate of nonviolent men. However, the Stop Violence against Women project of The Advocates for Human Rights reminds us that nearly half of all incidents of domestic violence do not involve alcohol. Instead, “some abusers rely on substance use (and abuse) as an excuse for becoming violent.”
Jealousy. In 2012, Ohio State University researchers published findings in the Journal of Women’s Health that showed a strong correlation between a man’s sexual jealousy and incidents of domestic abuse and violence.
Low self-esteem. Many abusers suffer from low self-esteem, which not only can create the jealousy explained above, but can cause them to feel threatened by their partners. They then react with violence to try and assert their strength and sense of control.
Traditional beliefs. Many analysts argue thattraditional gender roles play a role in domestic violence, because women are socialized to be passive while men are socialized to be “hyper- masculine.” The University of Michigan’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center explains thatsuch gender roles create “unrealistic and strict expectations” that then give “license for the batterer to be violent.”
Learned behavior.Toby D. Goldsmith, M.D., writes on PsychCentral“children who witness or are the victims of violence may learn to believe that violence is a reasonable way to resolve conflict between people. Boys who learn that women are not to be valued or respected and who see violence directed against women are more likely to abuse women when they grow up. Girls who witness domestic violence in their families of origin are more likely to be victimized by their own husbands.”
What Should You Do If You Are A Victim of Domestic Violence?
If you are a victim of abuse or domestic violence, it’s imperative to understand that you are not alone, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Millions of people find themselves trapped in such situations through no fault of their own. These are five things you can do right away to take back control of your life:
Call 911 and report the incident. In order to secure protection and to establish a record of incidents, you must report what happened to the police. The police can even remove the abuser from the environment to ensure your safety.
Get to a safe place away from your abuser. It may take all your strength and willpower to do this, but it is very important that you protect your own health and safety and that of your children or other dependents.
Get medical attention if necessary. Even if you think that your bruises or other injuries are minor, you may have internal injuries that can create complications later. Also, medical personnel are trained in spotting incidents of domestic violence and can document your case and connect you to important resources.
Contact a localdomestic violence shelter or advocacy group that can help you learn your legal rights, find a place to stay, and even file a protective order against your abuser.
Get support from friends and professional counselors. Support systems will help you in ways you may not anticipate.
What Should You Do If Someone You Know Is a Victim of Domestic Violence?
It is always tempting to look away from or avoid getting involved in domestic violence between others, for fear of our own safety. But if you know someone who is suffering from domestic abuse, heor she may not have the strength or courage to stop it – they may need someone to step in to help them.
In their explanation of the “Myths and Realities of Domestic Abuse”, the Center Against Domestic Violence at the University of Arizona College of Law states“domestic abuse is against the law, and that makes it everyone’s business. Assaults within the family are as much of a crime as assaults outside the family.” Therefore, intervening to stop and prevent abuse is not only the right thing to do, but it can also be regarded as a civic responsibility.
So call the police and report the crime—because that’s what domestic violence is, a crime. You don’t need to jump in between an abuser and his or her victim to do this. With a simple call, you just might save someone’s life.
About the Author
Attorney Mike Schlosser represents victims of personal injury, those charged with a crime, as well as those facing traffic charges. A former Guilford County, North Carolina District Attorney, Schlosser has been in private practice at the Law Firm of Schlosser & Pritchett since 1983 and has been a member of the North Carolina State Bar since 1973.
Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children – As Per Age Group:
Exposure to domestic violence has negative effects on children. To properly understand these effects, it is important to first understand the dynamics of domestic violence. Domestic violence is prevalent in all groups of people regardless of age, education, race, occupational, social-economical and religious factors.Characteristically, it involves a series of repetitive abuse, including psychological, physical, economical and emotional abuse. The perpetrator uses violence to gain control and power through the use of humiliation, intimidation, and fear.
Children get affected by domestic violence differently at various developmental stages. This is because as they grow and develop both mentally and physically, they learn new things at each age. Being a victim or witnessing domestic violence can interfere with the child’s normal growth and threatens their sense of security.
Studies indicate that children who have been exposed to domestic violence have a greater likelihood of experiencing various difficulties than their peers.
Studies indicate males exposed to domestic violence at a tender age are more likely to develop violent behavior; likewise, females are more likely to become victims.Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children – As Per Age Group:Unborn Child (Infants):
Infants and toddlers learn through play and exploration, how to form secure attachments. If exposed to violence at this age, they learn that the parents are not likely to constantly respond to their needs which hinder the development of a strong bond between the parent and the infant. Thus, the child becomes afraid to explore their world, which interferes with play and slows down their learning process.
The effects to Infants include:
1. Emotional Effects: Hyper-excitability; Anxiety Tension and stress; Helplessness; Terrorized and Traumatized.
1. Emotional Effects: Traumatized, jumpy, nervous, hyper-alert, anxious, stressed, and fearful; Emotional deprivation; and Strong need for safety.
3. Behavioral Effects: Colicky, excessive crying; Injuries and bruises; Chronic constipation; Eating problems; Sleep disturbances; Malnutrition; Digestive problems; Allergies/skin rashesPreschoolers (One To Five Years):Children at this age bracket have started learning how to express most of their emotions, including those of anger and aggression. Thus, children at this age living in situation where there is domestic violence can learn detrimental ways of expressing anger and frustration. Moreover they get confused with the mixed messages their parents are sending them; for instance, they are punished for talking rudely while their parents talk rudely to each other.
The effects to Preschoolers include:
1. Emotional Effects: Fearfulness; easily frustrated; anxiety; fearful of abuser; feels split between parents; hesitant and uncertain; low self-esteem, and feels powerless to protect self.
The children have a better sense of their own emotions and can also recognize the emotions of others. They are more conscious of their own actions and reactions towards violence inflicted to them and may worry about their father being jailed or their mother being harmed. This distracts the child development process which at this age revolves around social and academic success. They become distracted hindering their ability to learn in school. Moreover, they develop poor social skills and tend to pay more attention to negative responses from their teachers and peers and miss hearing positive responses leading to low self esteem. At this age group, the children begin to have multifaceted thoughts about what is right and wrong. Thus, they are more susceptible to learning and accepting biased, incorrect explanations to support violence.The effects to School-Age Children include:1. Emotional Effects: Cries easily or frequently; lack of trust; lack of normal feelings; feelings of despair; helplessness or hopelessness, lack of empathy or concern for others; and anger towards the parents, especially the mother.
3. Behavioral Effects: Violence towards abuser; Destroys property; Tries to be in control; Violent acting out behavior; Perfectionism; Running away; Lack of boundaries and limitsAdolescents (Teenagers):These children are fully aware of what is right or wrong but have the need to have a sense of belonging. They experience similar problem that the school-age children undergo but at a higher level. They are characterized by secretive and guarded behavior about the situation at home and are also embarrassed of their family members. Thus, they do not invite friends over and are likely to spend most of their free time away from home. Aggression and Denial are the major ways of solving problems.
The effects to Adolescents Boys include:
1. Emotional Effects: Feelings of guilt and powerlessness; withdraws and shuts down; embarrassment and Shame; Needs to control; and Lack of friends.
1. Emotional Effects: Distrustful of others or have trust issues; blames or hates mother; needy – wants to be taken care of and protected; restlessness and feelings of tension; Feels hopeless or helpless; Confused about role models; self-blame and feels guilt about abuse; manic-depressive and “Numbs out” emotionally.
Cally Greene is an online consultant for domestic violence lawyer at JoeyGilbertLaw. She likes blogging about Legal issues,Business law,Family Law and other Legal advice.
You can contact her via Twitter.
For years the term “domestic violence” only brought to mind frightening physical abuse. More recently, the phrase has begun to mean many different forms of abuse ranging from physical to psychological. Emotional abuse is a very real and terrifying part of relationships for many people no matter their gender. There are various types of emotional abuse that are commonly seen by mental health professionals who work with victims of domestic violence. Those who have never experienced this type of abuse may be shocked to hear that the effects of psychological and emotional violence are as serious, if not more severe, than those of physical violence.
The first type of commonly acknowledged emotional abuse is that of rejection. Rejection involves letting a person know that they are unwanted in a variety of different ways. By name-calling, yelling, swearing, demeaning, and verbally humiliating a person, the abuser is telling the victim that he or she is worthless and often the cause of problems that are truly out of the victim’s control. When this type of abuse is used against children, it can also include refusal to hold or nurture through growth and development.
Another type of emotional abuse that often causes severe trauma is terrorizing. Yelling, threatening, teasing, and over-the-top punishment for the sake of intimidation are all considered acts of domestic terrorism. Abusers threaten their victims with abandonment or harm and often berate them in front of other family members and friends. Abusers may also terrorize by forcing their victims to watch acts that are inhumane in nature. Terrorizing can also involve threatening to harm a beloved object, pet, or close acquaintance.
The act of ignoring is common in emotionally abusive situations. In adult victims this treatment brings with it feelings of severe isolation due to the emotional unavailability of the abuser. When adults abuse children by ignoring, they may deny necessary medical or dental care, intentionally fail to pay attention to or discuss a child’s interests, or behave as though the child is not a member of the family. Ignoring also may involve a general lack of attention to nurturing children in regard to their everyday needs such as food, drink, clean clothes, school work, and other important constants that are necessary for children. Abusers who ignore are physically present but meticulously fail to recognize that their victim exists.
Emotional abuse is a dangerous and insidious element. Though the psychological effects are the same, if not worse, than physical abuse, there are no physical marks that can provide those close to the victims with the knowledge that abuse is present in a relationship. Many victims, especially children, are silent about their experiences in an emotionally abusive setting because they either fear the consequences of “tattling” on their abuser, or they have been brainwashed to think that the terrible things said and done to them are deserved.
Another scary aspect of emotional violence is that it doesn’t have to be over-the-top to be considered abusive. Emotional abuse is classified as anything that is said or done to intentionally hurt another person’s feelings. It could be as simple as insulting how a person looks. In situations where the abuse is more grotesque, it can be as severe as “gaslighting” a person, which means making them feel as though they are crazy and unstable through lies and manipulation.
Shaming, undermining the confidence of another, or destroying a person’s ability to grow, trust, and have viable levels of self-esteem are all forms of emotional violence. Like physical abuse, this type of treatment destroys the victim’s ability to trust people in any capacity of a relationship until proper treatment is received. In many cases, the effects of emotional abuse burn deeper than those of physical violence, as the abuse is often more frequent. Emotional violence destroys the person who is being abused by deeply damaging them to the core of their spirit.
About the author
Jim Burns is a freelance writer who focuses on legal issues such as Medical Malpractice, Insurance Fraud, Securities Litigation, Financial Regulation, Family Law and other important topics.
Fighting domestic violence is never easy, particularly when there is so little that can be done to prevent a crime from happening. While authorities can do their best to limit the damage and ensure the actions do not recur, how do they go about stopping something that has not yet happened? The key to reducing domestic violence crimes is to ensure that offenders know that there are serious consequences for their actions. Instead of labelling domestic violence crimes as “domestic matters,” it is time for them to be treated the same way as any assault or violent attack. Only then will the rate of domestic violence crimes diminish.
In many cases, spouses or partners do not file charges in domestic violence cases. This trend needs to change because it gives abusers the self confidence that their actions have no consequences. Once the police are called and a domestic violence incident is confirmed, charging the offender must be mandatory. Even if a spouse or partner is refusing to press charges, the police must act on their own accord. Once a generation of people begins to realize that any domestic violence incident equals mandatory jail time, they will alter their behavior.
Those who request it should be provided with a security system that allows them to contact the authorities discreetly if a domestic violence crime is taking place, or if they worry that one is imminent. An electronic button can allow a potential victim to alert law enforcement of a domestic violence case. This allows the police to arrive at the home sooner, which ensures that minimum damage occurs.
Communities Must Help
Domestic violence cannot be prevented by the police alone. Everyone needs to join in the effort to help rid the country of this epidemic. When a neighbor hears unusual shouting or commotion near their residence, they should contact the police immediately. When the police arrive, they must be thorough in their examination of the scene. Too many officers respond to a domestic violence complaint and leave the home without making sure everything is okay. They will talk to the husband/boyfriend, who informs them that nothing is wrong, and leave. Police should enter the home, see what is going on, make sure everyone in the house is okay, and then leave.
Provide Victims with Additional Protection
The worst domestic violence cases are those that involve couples who have a history of multiple incidents. A spouse or child is beaten once, and a case is filed, yet they return to the same living environment. Chances are that abuse will take place again. In these instances, the law must do everything possible to provide the victim with additional protection. Not only will this discourage future incidents, but it gives the victim an added sense of security.
Domestic violence will never go away altogether, and it is something that needs to be battled every day. Law enforcement, communities and individual families need to do their part to ensure that people feel safe inside their homes. Changing a culture is never easy, but this is one of the cases where something has to be done as soon as possible.
About the author
Jeremiah Stone is a freelancer who focuses on legal subjects such as Personal Injury, Civil Procedure, Corporate Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property and others as well.
The internet can be a valuable source of information and support for survivors of domestic abuse, but it can also pose a threat to your safety. Many abusers obsess over their victim and have a tendency to track their online activity. If you have escaped your abuser, your online presence may also be dangerous because it can lead your abuser back to you. Applying simple rules to your internet activity can drastically improve your online safety.
Cleaning up your computer
Because your abuser is someone you know, they have likely at some point had access to your computer, laptop or cell phone. One way that abusers can track your online presence is by secretly installing monitoring or spying software. Another easy way they may spy on you is by turning on parental controls, and making you the child’s account which is monitored. If your abuser were to do this, everything the “child” does is reported back to the “parent,” meaning that anything you do is reported back to your abuser. Any victim of domestic abuse should check for this software. If you are not tech-savvy you can take your computer to a trusted computer repair shop.
After you have checked your computer for monitoring software, change all of your passwords to new, strong passwords. Do not make your password anything that your abuser might guess. If you have a cat named Fluffy, your password should not be Fluffy123. This not only includes your email, social media and bank accounts, but your wireless connection password as well.
E-mail and social networking
If your abuser continues to contact you via email, simply blocking their email address from your existing personal email account is likely not enough to prevent future contact, because they can always create new accounts. To put an end to contact you must create a new email account that only your most trusted contacts and colleagues have access to. Remain anonymous and be sure not to include any part of your name in the email address. This will make it more difficult for your abuser to find you. Also check to be sure the email service does not expose your real name in the “from” line when corresponding.
Delete all existing social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. If your abuser is aware of these accounts, he will find ways to check your statuses, check-ins and photos. If you want to continue using social media, delete all current accounts and recreate new ones with stringent privacy settings. Sometimes privacy settings can be tricky, and will leave a lot of your information exposed even when you think you have applied the strictest of options. Also be cautious of who you “add” on new accounts, avoiding any mutual friends that you and your abuser share.
Although online shopping accounts like eBay and Amazon may seem to carry harmless information, they are actually the most dangerous because they contain information regarding credit cards, email address and delivery details. When deleting and changing accounts, don’t put yourself at risk by letting these ones fall by the wayside.
Special thanks to Aeschleman Law for providing this article.
San Jose Family Law & Domestic Violence Attorney
1550 The Alameda, Ste 330
San Jose, CA 95126
Vulnerable adults are people older than eighteen years of age who need a caregiver, and who are unable to protect themselves or look after themselves. Vulnerable adults include elderly people in nursing homes, people who are sick or frail, people with memory problems, or people who have difficulty communicating with others. Individuals with physical or mental disabilities are also classified as vulnerable adults. Unfortunately, because these individuals need care and are unable to look after themselves, they are at greater risk of abuse. Read on for more information regarding vulnerable adults and how we can protect them.
Why Are Vulnerable Adults Targets for Abuse?
Unfortunately, there are many reasons why vulnerable adults are the victims of abuse. Violence toward vulnerable adults can be a single outburst, or it can be a premeditated attack. Sometimes vulnerable adults are targeted for abuse because caregivers are frustrated at the adult’s inability to communicate or inability to act “normal.” Lack of knowledge or training by health professionals working in nursing homes, hospitals or residential homes can result in violence, as professionals are not taught how to appropriately deal with this frustration.
While poor management and inadequate training can result in abuse toward vulnerable adults, sometimes violence can result simply because caregivers have a violent history. Caregivers are not always health professionals, and therefore training in how to appropriately help vulnerable adults is not required.
What Are the Signs of Abuse Toward a Vulnerable Adult?
Some vulnerable adults, especially elderly individuals, may be reluctant to speak out about the abuse they are suffering from. They might excuse their bruises as being “nothing.” Having injuries and not fully explaining where they came from can be a sign of abuse. Unexplained physical symptoms, such as bruising or scarring, can be explained by abuse. The appearance of the vulnerable adult might also change: they might look dirtier or thinner than before due to improper care or neglect.
Also keep an eye out for behavioral changes. A vulnerable adult who is suffering from abuse or violence might become withdrawn, quiet or depressed. However, behavioral changes on the other end of the spectrum are also possible; a vulnerable adult might become inexplicably angry or aggressive. Not wanting to be alone with certain individuals is also a red flag.
How Do We Protect Vulnerable Adults?
There are several ways to protect vulnerable adults. The most effective way to help and protect vulnerable adults is never to ignore signs of abuse and never to shrug them off as nothing. If you are suspicious, ask questions. It’s best to speak with the vulnerable adult in private. If your suspicions of abuse are confirmed, you can either call a General Practitioner or you can speak with a social worker. Depending on the nature of the abuse, you might even want to get the police involved, as abuse toward a vulnerable adult can be a crime. Additionally, help lines and help from Adult Protective Services are available specifically for these instances.
Vulnerable adults are most at risk for abuse and violence, and because of this they need to be protected. If you suspect that a vulnerable adult you know has been abused or neglected in some way, speak with them and figure out how you can help them. Don’t ignore the situation, but speak out so something can be done to protect them.
If you have evidence that a loved one is being abused, report it to the police immediately, and seek legal counsel to represent the case. Hughes & Coleman, Injury Lawyers are nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys located in Kentucky. For more information about nursing home abuse and neglect, visit the website at www.NursingHomeNeglectLawyers.com.
A daycare is a place where you expect your kids to be safe and happy while you’re away at work. You have to be able to instill trust in a daycare because they are spending just as much time with your children as you do, thus you expect them to protect your youngster. A neglected child is the last thing that you would expect at a daycare, but the sad truth is that some kids are either abused or neglected at daycares all across the country. The important thing is that you’re able to spot the classic signs of the abused or neglected child. Here are some indicative signs that your child may be abused or neglected at daycare.
Changes In Comfort Level Are a Warning Sign
Let’s say that your child has always been happy or even excited to be left behind at daycare. Suddenly, though, your child’s demeanor changes to the point where he’s anxious or reluctant to be left alone at daycare. That can be a very telltale warning sign of either abuse or neglect occurring at the daycare. If your child was abused or neglected at daycare, he’ll naturally exhibit these signs of fear when faced with the prospect of going back there.
Are There Any Unusual Bruises?
Another telltale sign that your child is the abused or neglected child at daycare is the mysterious appearance of bruises on his or her body. This is especially true if you leave your child at daycare with no bruises, and when you pick him up, there are noticeable bruises on his body. Of course, it is always a possibility that your child could have gotten some bruises from the typical play in which kids engage. However, a big, red flag ought to go off in your head if these bruises occur much too frequently.
Withdrawal Is a Suspicious Sign
Children are naturally outgoing, playful and highly energetic. That’s why a child who withdraws and becomes more reserved is suspicious, especially if this withdrawal starts to occur only after you’ve been leaving him at a daycare. A child who begins to become withdrawn could be doing so not only from physical abuse, but also from mental abuse, such as neglect during the time you leave him at daycare. If you see your child becoming more withdrawn, you should investigate.
Does Your Child Flinch?
Flinching is a sign of expecting something bad and forceful to happen. If your child unexpectedly begins to flinch when you do something harmless like raising your hands or arms, then that should also set off alarm bells in your head. If your child was ever hit at daycare, then they’ll develop the flinching reaction as a way to brace them self for what they expect to be another smack in their direction.
An abused or neglected child is an extremely serious issue, especially if it’s your child. Daycare is one of the last places on Earth in which you expect child abuse or neglect to occur, but it does happen from time to time. The best thing parents can do is to be vigilant and monitor their children for signs of abuse or neglect.
If you suspect your child has been a victim of neglect or abuse in their daycare, it is important to find a new daycare and seek the help of a legal representative. Hardison & Cochran, Attorneys at Law are child care negligence lawyers located in North Carolina. For more information about negligence and abuse at day care, visit the website at www.LawyerNC.com.
Making a Plan
In order to truly escape an abusive situation, the victim needs to first understand that abuse in a loving relationship is not normal. The victim must see that he or she is deserving of respect, and then a plan of action needs to be made. In some situations, this plan may include simply leaving the home within the moment to stay with a trusted friend or family member, while in other situations, long-term planning must take place. When planning long-term, the victim needs to find a safe place to stay, and he or she also needs to examine legal options. It helps to have a support system of some sort set up of friends or family or perhaps an organization that supports victims of domestic violence through therapy, housing, and other avenues.
Criminal Legal Options
Whether it’s PA lawyer or one in Florida, most attorneys advise that victims should contact the nearest police station or sheriff’s department to report the abuse. From there, an officer will investigate the claims and make an arrest if evidence is found. In many cases, simply making the complaint will be all that is required in order for the abuser to be taken into custody, and a restraining order can also be issued to keep the abuser away from the victim. Law enforcement personnel can also offer victims options for shelter and resources for starting a new life away from the abuser.
Civil Legal Options
Victims of domestic abuse may also have civil legal options to pursue in order to get compensation for their injuries, both physical and mental. To do this, a victim of domestic abuse will need to partner with an attorney to file a lawsuit. This option will allow the victim to present his or her case in front of a judge and jury, and the victim’s lawyer can present evidence on the victim’s behalf. Additionally, the victim can also file paperwork with a family law court to obtain sole custody of any minor children involved in the case. The family law court can also issue restraining orders and custody rights to ensure that the abuser is not allowed to have contact with the children.
If you’ve been a victim of domestic violence, even if it’s only happened one time, don’t wait to do something about it. As mentioned, these types of situations only get worse with time, and many result in death. Remember, you deserve love and respect, and a man or woman who is going to abuse you is not someone who you need in your life. It may be hard, but by resolving yourself and seeking out legal options, you can put an end to your abuse today.
While there are many reasons why a married couple may seek a divorce, ranging from lifestyle changes to irreconcilable differences, one unfortunately common reason is domestic abuse or violence. According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, millions of men and women suffer from abuse at the hands of their partner or significant other. While many of these people do not seek a divorce, there are some that feel that divorce is the best, or only, way to escape the abuse.
Seeking a divorce in such a situation can be extremely helpful; however, divorces often take a long time to successfully complete, especially if children are involved. Additionally, while a divorce does separate two people, it does not guarantee that the abuser will not come into contact with or find a way to continue abusing the other person. In such a situation, a person suffering from domestic violence or abuse may need to take further action to protect themselves and their loved ones.
For anyone being subjected to physical harassment, verbal abuse, abuse at home, or other forms of intimate partner violence, one of the best ways to seek protection from the abusive party is to file a restraining order. When a court grants a restraining order, the restraining order will provide stipulations that the party whom the order is directed at must follow. Some provisions that a restraining order can have include the following:
- Keeping the abuser away from the abused person, their home, place of work, and other important places
- Preventing contact between the two parties, including phone calls, delivery of gifts, letters, and more
- Stopping any physical abuse or threats of violence
While restraining orders are usually very helpful for people seeking to escape abuse, particularly before a divorce is granted, there are times when the use of a restraining order is abused itself. In such circumstances, one party may file a restraining order against their partner in order to gain power or leverage over them in a divorce. Because of the effects, both positive and negative, that a restraining order can have, when looking to either file for a restraining order or to fight a restraining order that was inappropriately granted, many people choose to enlist the support of a qualified divorce lawyer in order to give themselves the best chance of reaching the outcome they desire.
Jacole Prince of Kansas City, Missouri has been charged with abusing her 10-year-old daughter after the girl was found locked in a closet that smelled of urine.
Prince, 29, is facing assault, endangerment and child abuse charges. All of the charges are felonies.
Anonymous Caller Reported Abuse
An anonymous caller contacted the child abuse hotline claiming that three children lived at Prince’s home, but one was confined in a closet. The agency notified the police.
In response to the anonymous call, police officers met social workers from the Missouri Children’s Division outside of Prince’s apartment. When they arrived at the home, neighbors told them that Prince had left the home with two girls.
When a social worker told the neighbors that three girls lived at the home, the neighbors insisted that only two children lived with Prince. Prince told them she only had two daughters. Neighbors claimed that they had lived near Prince for several years but had never seen a third child.
When questioned by police, the neighbors insisted that the other two daughters were always clean and seemed well-cared for.
Officers Discover Girl Locked in Closet
When officers entered the apartment, they discovered a crib set up against a closet door in a bedroom. The closet door was tied closed. When an officer asked if anyone was in there, they heard the girl respond, “Yes.” The officers opened the door to the closet and discovered the girl standing inside. The closet reeked of urine.
The girl was taken to a local hospital. The hospital staff reported that the girl weighed only six pounds more than she did at her last hospital visit six years earlier. When questioned by investigators, the girl explained that she had no room of her own and that she was forced to remain in the closet most of the time. She claimed that she often went without food for days. She also did not have access to a restroom and had to relieve herself in the closet.
The girl told officers that she wasn’t allowed out of the house because she “messes herself.” She claims that Prince gets mad and punches her on the back when she pees on herself.
According to reports, the girl was suffering from several skin injuries and failure to thrive. At 32 pounds, the girl weighs just over one-third of the weight of a typical 10-year-old child. It is unclear how long the girl had been confined to the closet.
Authorities say that the anonymous phone call to the child abuse hotline likely saved the child’s life.
Children Placed in Protective Custody
Prince was arrested on Friday, June 22. The other two children were placed in protective custody.
Prince acknowledged that she did not let the girl leave the house. She claims that she was embarrassed by the girl’s appearance and feared she would be in trouble if anyone saw her condition.
Prince’s boyfriend has not been charged. He has denied knowing that the girl had been locked in the closet. He is not the biological father of the victim. Police are attempting to locate the victim’s biological father.
Prince was arraigned on Monday, June 25. She entered a plea of not guilty.
This article was written on behalf of Stokes Injury Lawyers, a group of Atlanta wrongful death attorneys who will fight for you and your family.
If you are in need of some legal assistance for a divorce, child custody or even an adoption issue, you will need to retain the help of a family lawyers. To ensure that you are making the right decision and are choosing a lawyer who will be able to help you out of whatever sticky situation you have found yourself in, you will need to put them through an evaluation process that should give you all the answers you need.
Step 1: Begin by asking around for referrals. If you know anyone who has gone through a legal battle similar to the one you are about to embark on, ask who they used to represent them. Lawyers that receive several recommendations are generally a good bet.
Step 2: Arrange a meeting with each family lawyer that you are interested in hiring. Make sure that, when you arrive at the meeting, you have prepared a list of questions that you wish to ask. These questions should surround their experience, how many cases they’re working on at the moment, which courts they generally practice at, and so on.
Step 3: If you are satisfied with your initial meeting, you should call your state bar association to enquire as to whether there have been any complaints filed against the lawyer. The bar association should also be able to tell you whether the lawyer has been sanctioned.
Many people also like to use the initial meeting with their family lawyers to evaluate their personality and demeanor. Whilst this is not an imperative part of your decision regarding legal representation, it can give you a good idea of what kind of person you are dealing with. Remember that a good relationship increases your chances of a more favourable outcome.
Domestic violence is one of the most difficult and sensitive topics that family law solicitors have to deal with, and the cases tend to be personal and can be incredibly tough for victims and their families
Though It’s unlikely that we can eradicate the threat of domestic violence altogether as there is no accounting for the behaviour of criminal individuals, but the justice system does have a responsibility to ensure those who act violently are punished appropriately.
Thus, the government has decided this month to reword the definition of domestic violence with the aim of addressing some key discrepancies.
Following a study from the British Crime Survey which found that those in the age range of 16-19 are the most likely to experience domestic violence, the new definition includes all of those over the age of sixteen.
By changing the law the government hopes not only to bring justice to those who previously would not have been able to prosecute, but it hopes to raise awareness of the problems of domestic violence in young people.
The second major change to the law is the inclusion of coercion and, as it is to be stated in statute, ‘coercive control’. This appears to be an umbrella term which will encompass all manner of behaviours that restrict the freedom of one of the partners in a relationship.
This will include both clear cut cases where individuals threaten or deliver physical violence, either with regularity or as a one off, but it will also include less obvious cases.
For example, cases where individuals are cut off from sources of support, perhaps their families or friends or where they are prevented from acting independently. This could see a number of cases that previously would have been treated as civil problems criminalised.
Though this might appear like legal semantics, the changes will have a real impact upon the practice of family law solicitors and they will change the way in which domestic violence is perceived and treated when they are brought in March 2013. Hopefully, the new definition will mean more cases where aggressors are justly punished for their actions and victims will be allowed access to the support they need.
Overall, though, these changes should in general raise awareness to the trauma that is caused by domestic violence and, above all else, we will hopefully see a decline in the number of cases that are seen in the courts.
Here at Clough and Willis we have a dedicated team of domestic violence law solicitors who are headed by a Resolution accredited specialist. We advise and represent male and female partners as well as other family relations subject to verbal and physical assaults or harassment .
Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States, and it is unfortunately found in virtually every community. While many people think of domestic violence as only physical violence, the fact is that domestic violence can involve verbal abuse, mental abuse and emotional abuse.
How Does Domestic Violence Begin?
In many cases, domestic violence starts off small. A husband may become angry with his wife for not cooking dinner that night, leading to an argument and threats of physical harm. Over time, as explained by one Indianapolis personal injury attorney, this kind of behavior can escalate, ultimately leading to physical violence and more. As the abuser continues to test and surpass boundaries, he or she may then begin to increase the level of domestic violence, and this can even lead to murder.
The Signs of Domestic Violence
As mentioned, domestic violence can take many forms, so outward signs may not always be apparent. While obvious signs, such as blackened eyes or split lips, may signify that a person is being abused, other signs, such as the inability to leave the house, should not be ignored. Many times, abusers will treat their victims as property, meaning that the victim can not have friends or talk with family members. In addition, emotional changes in mood or changes in behavior may also signify that someone is being abused.
What Can You Do?
If you have found yourself in an abusive relationship, it may seem hard to leave. You may love your significant other, and you may truly believe that they will amend their ways. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking typically only leads to increased violence and even death. In order to leave your abusive relationship, you may want to work with a shelter in your area. Shelters often have resources for individuals who are attempting to leave abusive relationships, and they can also offer temporary housing while you reorganize your life. You need to also consider relying on friends and family members for help, as these individuals can form a support net for you.
Is a Loved One Being Abused?
If a loved one is being abused, you may be feeling powerless to do anything about it right now. While you have given your advice and support to the victim, he or she continues to stay in the same situation. One way, however, that you can help the situation is by speaking with a law enforcement officer about your concerns. A police officer or sheriff’s deputy will be able to asses the situation and give you options for putting an end to the abuse. Although you may be worried that speaking to law enforcement may make things worse, doing nothing is actually the worst thing that you can do.
If you’ve been abused, you may also want to speak with a personal injury attorney to seek compensation for any injuries you’ve sustained. While domestic violence is a criminal issue and should be pursued through law enforcement, you may also be entitled to financial compensation in a civil personal injury case. Your attorney will be able to offer you options that pertain to your specific experiences, and in many cases, an attorney can also help you to put more space in between yourself and your abuser.
As mentioned, domestic violence can occur in any community and to anyone. Men, women and children can all be the victims of domestic violence, and far too often, these victims suffer in silence. For more information on how you can give a voice to the voiceless, contact your local women’s shelter or speak with your local Social Services office. These entities often have volunteer opportunities that will allow you to help out victims of domestic violence and more.
This article was written by Georgina Clatworthy, a legal writer and former editor of a respected law blog. She is now a contributing writer for the Indianapolis personal injury attorney firm, Sevenish Law. As a law firm with many years experience of handling personal injury cases they are able to deal with damages claims from domestic violence victims, sensitively and with understanding.
(US law and generally) If you were injured as the result of domestic violence, you know that it can take years to put all the pieces of your life back together. You might think that after a successful criminal hearing you have done everything possible to exercise all of your legal rights. However, many victims fail to realize that they are also entitled to compensation for their injuries and can pursue compensation by filing a civil complaint against their abuser. Find out how you can fight for the compensation you deserve legally so that you can recover from the violence without struggling financially.
What Type of Compensation Are You Entitled To As the Victim of Domestic Violence?
Victims of domestic violence can sustain a number of different types of physical and emotional injuries. While the most commonly recognized injuries are typically physical where abuse is concerned, emotional abuse is also very common when someone is injured at the hands of someone they love. While criminal laws are very well known and are enforced in each state, civil laws also exist to provide recourse for victims who want to pursue compensation for their injuries.
You have the right to pursue your abuser civilly even after you have pursued them in the criminal court. When you are pursuing your abuser civilly, you are taking the assailant to court to hold them liable for the costs of your injuries so that you are not stuck paying for your medical care and the care you will need for recovery. Our attorney, from law firm Tenn and Tenn explains that if the court orders that the defendant is responsible for your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation in the form of awarded damages. These damages can range in severity and depend on state laws. If you are not familiar with the laws concerning damages in your state, speak with a personal injury law firm and find out everything you need to know.
How Can the Criminal Case Help You When Filing a Civil Case?
As you might know, having evidence whenever you are going to court will help you when you are trying to prove your complaint is accurate and true. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should always call the local authorities before doing anything else and have the abuser arrested. Once you file a restraining order and you are in a safe environment, you can use the police report and the evidence from the criminal proceeding to help you win your civil case. Our lawyer further advises that documents such as the incident report, statements from law enforcement officers, photos of injuries, and medical treatment bills can all be used to support your claim.
Everyone deserves to have a loving relationship where they feel safe. If you are the victim of domestic violence rebuilding your life can be a long and arduous road. Remember though you are entitled to compensation for the physical and psychological injuries you suffered, to help make that road to recovery a little easier.
About the Author
This article was written by Georgina Clatworthy an experienced legal writer and editor. She is currently a contributing writer for the New Hampshire personal injury specialists at Tenn and Tenn, whose approach to claims from victims of domestic violence is with diligence and empathy, ensuring every client receives the compensation they deserve.
Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States. Several high profile murder cases have shown what unreported domestic violence can lead to. Unfortunately, there are those who will make false domestic violence allegations against another person in order to have ammunition in custody battles or even just to punish someone for a real or imagined slight. Sadly, the court system is not properly set up to handle those unjustly accused of domestic violence, so many innocent people face harsh consequences. Knowledge will give anyone an advantage in court, so there are five specific things a person should know when wrongfully accused of domestic violence.
1. Custody Issue
Many people will be tempted to take a plea deal to get out of jail quickly. This is a terrible idea, especially if a person has children. A protective order will likely be issued for the accuser and their children, which will already take time away from the accused parent. The big issue is that a domestic violence conviction can be used against a person in a child custody case. If a court has the choice between two parents, one of whom has a domestic violence conviction, the court is likely to side with the accuser.
2. Housing Issues
Even if a person hasn’t been convicted, the false accuser will have exclusive use of the couple’s home. This means an accused person cannot go to the house until the court gives them permission, even if the home is solely in their name. A person must contact police to have an officer escort them to the home if they want to remove any of their belongings.
3. No Physical Contact Necessary
Many people believe that they must physically touch someone for a domestic violence charge to stick. This leaves many people sitting in jail when they choose to represent themselves or use an overworked public defender. Domestic violence can consist of an assault on a spouse. Assault is defined as the threat of harm with the actual ability to cause it. According to Katz & Phillips, with so many nuances in domestic violence issues an Orlando criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the pitfalls inherent in a domestic violence case. When charges can be brought based solely on a significant other claiming that they felt threatened, it is nothing to be taken lightly.
4. Keep Track of any Communication from Accuser
There are times when an accuser may contact their spouse and want to meet up with them. All domestic violence cases bring with them an automatic restraining order, so under no circumstances should this be done, even if the two have completely resolved their issues. This may also be a clever ploy to have the accused violate their restraining order. There is still a criminal case which must be considered. A person should keep record of any calls, texts or emails where the accuser requests a meeting. This will show the court that the accuser is not in actual fear for their own safety.
5. Anger Management
Courts will often sentence a person to anger management classes if they are convicted of domestic violence. These classes must be completed even if a person reconciles with their false accuser. The state will not provide these classes free of charge, so it will become another unfair burden on the wrongly accused. This is just another portion of money that a person will lose if convicted, so it is very important to find an Orlando criminal attorney who can handle the case. Facing a domestic violence charge alone or with a mediocre lawyer is the best way for a person wrongly accused of domestic violence to face consequences that they don’t deserve.
False domestic violence allegations have the same consequences as an actual domestic abuse case. These charges should never be taken lightly due to the fact that a conviction will most likely have permanent negative effects on a person’s life. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer should be hired as soon as possible. The cost of a lawyer is nothing compared to the consequences that a conviction brings with it.
Molly Henshaw is a freelance writer and law student living in the DC metro area. She is also a contributing author for the defense team of Katz & Phillips. It is essential to consult an attorney and be aware of all of your rights!
(US Law) Elderly Abuse is known as the different acts that involve harm to older people. Other terms are associated with elder abuse such as old adult maltreatment, old adult abuse and senior citizen abuse among others. There are plenty of organizations that deal with elderly abuse, but the general rule of thumb is that any excessive force, either physically or psychologically, is considered abusive. This can even be if your intention is to help the elderly person, which creates some grey area problems for health workers.
Several cases of elderly abuse are included in the kinds of family or domestic violence. Elderly abuse does not involve any criminal acts to the elderly, such as victimization in robbery, theft, or ambush. They are classified as criminal offences, not elderly abuse. Elderly abuse is now a social dilemma because of its high incidence. What is more saddening is that many cases are not reported or unknown.
Elderly abuse is a complicated case and people often have misapprehensions regarding this kind of abuse. Contrary to what people think, elderly abuse does not just occur in nursing homes. Although it may happen, the usual kind of elderly abuse does not take place there. It could happen anywhere, even at places we are in. Truth is, several cases of elder abuse occur at home, where the close relationships of the elderly are. The typical kind of abuse in the home is neglect of the elderly. Physical and emotional abuse occurs as a result of the weakness and dependency of the old adult to the family members. As old adults age, it is understood that they become frail and feeble, and they cannot do things without assistance. Lack of patience and understanding in the part of the caregiver can lead to abuse.
The usual victims of elderly abuse are ailing, feeble, mentally challenged, disabled and miserable old adults. Then again, even those who do not have these characteristics are still risk; but those stated prior are the most susceptible to elderly abuse.
The physical harm of elderly can be in forms of pushing, jostling, slapping and in severe forms tying in ropes and beating. Any person who uses force against an elder that results to trauma and pain, is an abuser. The deprivation of primary needs and home imprisonment of old adults are also forms of elder abuse.
Editor’s note – for top Denver divorce attorneys click here.
Here are common examples on the types of elder abuse:
• Physical Abuse: This includes beating, slapping, shoving, thumping, kicking, tying up/restraining, false confinement, and any use of physical force that leads to injury.
• Emotional Abuse: This includes provoking fear, shouting, degrading, embarrassing, rejecting, accusing, disrespecting, mocking, condemning and ignoring an elderly.
• Financial Abuse or Exploitation: This is the unlawful use of the elder’s money, properties and possessions achieved through trickery, force or pilfering. The non-provision of financial support and expulsion from the home which belongs to the elderly are also included.
• Sexual Abuse: This includes coercing an elderly to participate in any sexual act and discussion against his or her will, even in cases where the elderly can not willfully give permission due to dementia.
• Neglect: This is the kind of abuse where the elderly is deprived of their primary or basic physical needs like food, clothes, medications and medical assistance. It could be on purpose, or due to lack of awareness.
There are also other kinds of abuse like abuse of human rights or elderly rights, abandonment or desertion of elderly and institutional abuse which is the physical and emotional abuse to elders in health institutions/nursing homes.
There are ways on preventing and reducing the incidence of elder abuse. First, you can reach out to seniors, this way seclusion will be reduced. You can reach out through visits or getting involved in activities that provide elder support. You can also invite them small family activities and gatherings. Let them get involved by asking them to teach knitting or cooking skills to you and the family. You can also volunteer in nursing homes to have hands on care to older adults. Promote senior involvement by inviting them in programs for the elderly.
If there is suspicion of occurrence of abuse or if you actually witnessed an abuse, call the emergency number of your community. Any form if abuse should never be tolerated. Contact immediately the support for the elderly institution or department to prevent further abuse.
Pete Wise is a Content Marketer. If you or a loved one has been involved in elder abuse and neglect, you should also seek an elder abuse attorney to represent you. An elder abuse lawyer can help walk you through what legal options are available and which course of action should be taken.
What To Look For When Seeking a Family Lawyer
If you’ve never been through the legal process before, realizing the amount of time, effort, and stress that go into it can be more than daunting. Hiring a lawyer alone is intimidating; how can you determine a good lawyer from a bad one if you’ve never had to hire one before? Below you’ll find the qualities you should look for when seeking the right lawyer for your family law case.
Background Information on the Practice of Law
There’s a misconception that a lawyer is a lawyer, in the sense that they all have the same knowledge and practice law. However, this is simply not the case. There are three types of lawyers you’ll come across on your lawyer search. Specialized lawyers are those whose practice is specialized in a specific type of law, such as personal injury law. General lawyers, i.e. lawyers that practice a broader area of law, might practice personal injury law and business law simultaneously. Then there are Referral lawyers. These lawyers may be either specialized or general lawyers, but they advertise as if they practice various types of law. When clients come to them in a specialty outside of their practice area, which is typical due to referral lawyers affinity to advertise a broad range of specialties, referral lawyers then refer the client to another attorney. The reason they do this is because referral lawyers get a percentage of the lawyer fees for all cases they refer out. For instance, Lawyer A refers a client to Lawyer B. When Lawyer B wins the case, Lawyer B must forfeit a percentage of his/her fees from the case. So, put bluntly, referral lawyers get paid for doing absolutely nothing in a case they’ve referred to another lawyer.
Qualities You Want in a Family Lawyer
You should look for three factors when determining if a lawyer is right for your divorce, separation, will, children’s rights or divorce settlement legal needs.
First, you should look for a lawyer who has experience handling family law cases. You will want to avoid “referral lawyers” as the fees they take can deter the lawyers they refer your case to from actually taking it; lawyers, like any professional, are in it for the money and if they have to forfeit percentage of their winnings on a case that already isn’t worth that much, they aren’t going to take it. You should seek out lawyers who have a long history of experience with family law cases and who have been successful with such cases. While a general attorney might have a lot of experience with family law cases, you should generally look for a lawyer who specializes in family law as he/she is the more likely to be adept to the legal procedures of such a case.
And do not rely on lawyer rating sites, like Super Lawyers, AVVO, and Best Lawyers to give you reliable information on a lawyer’s success rate and the like. These sites’ “rankings” are determined by how much a lawyer is willing to pay and the information on the lawyers is not generally verified by the lawyers themselves. For example, attorney John Smith might be stated as a family lawyer on a lawyer ranking site when in fact he is a slip and fall lawyer. You don’t want a personal injury lawyer handling your family law case, do you? It would be like having an accountant acting as your stock market investment advisor; it’s simply the wrong specialist handling the wrong specialty.
Second, you need a lawyer who is capable of giving your case the time and attention it deserves. And third, you need a lawyer with knowledge about your case type. General lawyers handle many different types of cases, which means they must have a vast working knowledge of different laws and law procedures. For instance, a general lawyer handling a business law case, a personal injury case, and a criminal case will need to know the necessary laws for each of those law specialties as well as the procedures required by each. That’s a lot of work and knowledge that a single person must endure and retain. A general lawyer may be less knowledgeable about your case type and less able to spend time on your case because he/she is handling so many different types of cases.
Amber Paley is a guest post and article writer bringing to us what qualities one should look for when seeking a family lawyer. Outraged by the prevalence of elder neglect in the U.S., Amber spends much of her professional life writing education articles to help those affected another’s negligible care find good nursing home abuse attorneys.