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Domestic Violence Attorney in New York City

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Domestic violence is a severe offense that affects many people in New York City, and finding your way out of an abusive situation takes strength and courage.

woman cryingIn matters of divorce and family law, domestic violence heavily affects the outcome of a case.  That is why it is crucial that victims of domestic violence who are going through a divorce or family court proceeding seek physical and legal protection immediately.  At the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., our New York City domestic violence attorney helps victims of domestic violence in all areas of family law.  Attorney Stark is:

  • Skilled and knowledgeable in domestic violence in New York and its effect on family court cases;
  • Concerned and caring when handling sensitive issues for victims of domestic violence and their children; and
  • Determined and aggressive when advocating for domestic violence victims and their children.

Do not allow anyone to endanger your life or those of your children during a divorce or other times.  Work with a compassionate New York City domestic violence attorney who can secure the protection you need while fighting for the rights of your loved ones.  Call the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., today.

How a New York City Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help You

Do not wait to get the legal help you need.  Reach out to Attorney Vivien I. Stark as soon as possible for honest and practical legal advice about domestic violence cases in New York City.  Attorney Stark can listen to your circumstances, answer your questions, and offer her opinion as to your next best steps.

Additionally, Attorney Stark can:

  • Stand beside you from start to finish of your domestic violence case;
  • Ensure you understand New York’s domestic violence and family laws;
  • Work to connect you to resources you may require;
  • Keep you informed and updated throughout your case; and
  • Present persuasive, logical arguments at any hearings or a trial on your behalf.

Work with a domestic violence and family law attorney you can depend on.  Schedule a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., to talk about your future or pending legal case.

How Does Child Custody Work in a Domestic Violence Case?

When deciding on child custody arrangements, the court will always decide based on the child’s best interests.  To determine what is best for the children, the courts consider things like:

  • The wants of the child;
  • The relationship of the child with each parent;
  • The parent’s ability to care for the child; and
  • The parents’ criminal history.

By law, the court must take any allegations of domestic abuse or neglect into consideration when making a child custody decision.

Can a Parent with a History of Domestic Violence Receive Child Custody?

It is a presumption that children benefit from some relationship with both parents.  Therefore, both parents typically receive some visitation rights with their children.  However, if a parent has a history of domestic violence, visitation may be limited temporarily to supervised visits.  Supervised visitation schedules are usually only temporary solutions until the court is comfortable awarding that parent an unsupervised schedule.  To keep visitation supervised or forgo visitation at all, there needs to be a showing that parental visitation of any kind would harm the children mentally, physically, or emotionally and is contrary to the children’s best interests.

Proving Domestic Violence in a Child Custody Case

Even if the domestic violence did not involve the other spouse or the children, the matter would still be investigated.  In any case, spouses who allege the other has committed domestic violence will need to prove the allegation by way of “preponderance of the evidence.”

In other words, the judge will need a reason to believe the incident more likely occurred than not.  This requires proof like:

  • Prior police reports or case history involving domestic violence;
  • Photos;
  • Videos;
  • Threatening text messages; and
  • Eyewitness testimony; or
  • Sworn eyewitness affidavits.

What is Domestic Violence in New York?

Domestic violence reaches far beyond physical violence.  Domestic violence is defined by New York as “A pattern of coercive tactics… perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim.”  This can include:

  • Physical abuse;
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Emotional abuse;
  • Economic abuse (withholding or controlling finances); and
  • Psychological abuse (threats and intimidation).

In addition to domestic violence in a marital relationship, it can also refer to any other type of intimate relationships, such as:

  • People related by blood or marriage;
  • Parents and children;
  • People unrelated but living together;
  • People who have a child together; or
  • People who are dating or were dating.

It is the top priority of New York courts to ensure the safety of domestic violence victims in any situation.

Penal Law

In New York, the following penal laws prohibit domestic violence.

Assault Offenses

Menacing Offenses

Stalking Offenses

Strangulation Offenses

  • Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation (New York Penal Law Section 121.11)
  • Strangulation in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law Section 121.12)
  • Strangulation in the First Degree (New York Penal Law Section 121.13)

Orders of Protection in New York

If an abuser is tried in a criminal hearing and found guilty of domestic violence, an order of protection is issued by the state.  Or, victims can ask for a civil order of protection, which limits the abuser’s access to the victims and their children for a period of up to five years or longer.  An order of protection keeps the abuser away from the victim and their children by ordering them to leave or stay away from the home, to stay away from the victim personally, or to stop contacting the victim.  An order of protection is issued based on the severity and type of harassment and abuse.

New York also has a red flag law that allows courts to issue extreme risk protection orders that prohibit specific individuals from possessing or acquiring firearms if they are likely to hurt themselves or someone else seriously.  Judges issue these temporarily for probable cause with a permanent hearing at a later date based on clear and convincing evidence.

Seek Immediate Help for Domestic Violence in New York City

If you or your children are victims of domestic violence, seek safety and legal representation immediately with a New York City domestic violence lawyer.  Vivien I. Stark takes domestic violence seriously, and she works aggressively to protect her clients.  Attorney Stark will prioritize your case and negotiate the terms of any order of protection that becomes necessary.  Additionally, she can present evidence before a judge when disputing a custody case. Vivien I. Stark has over 30 years of experience in divorce and family law.  She fights aggressively to protect the safety and rights of her clients.  She serves the five boroughs of New York City and its surrounding communities.

To discuss your needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us online or call us at (212) 349-1600 to schedule an in-office or telephone consultation.

Additional Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence in New York

If you are a victim of domestic violence and need help in New York, several resources are available to assist you.  There is a 24-Hour Domestic Violence and Gender-Based Support Hotline available at 1-800-621-HOPE.  The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers an online program directory of help for victims by county at New York State Domestic Violence Program Directory.

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