If you have been a victim of domestic violence or someone has falsely accused you of domestic violence, you need an experienced domestic violence attorney by your side to help you take steps to protect yourself, your children and your finances. Perpetrators of domestic violence face stiff penalties in Texas but accusers are required to present clear and convincing evidence that domestic violence has taken place.
Our family court lawyers in Fort Worth Texas have been representing victims of domestic violence and those falsely accused of domestic violence since 2007. We take claims of domestic violence very seriously. As a client, you can expect an experienced domestic violence lawyer from the Sisemore Law Firm to fight tirelessly for you to help secure protection, defend you against false claims and achieve the optimum outcome for your Texas domestic violence case.
If you or your children have been subjected to family violence by a spouse, domestic partner or other family member and you fear for your safety, you should call the police and put your complaint on the record. It’s also critical to take steps to stay safe and contact a domestic violence divorce lawyer—especially when children are involved. A domestic violence attorney can explain your options, whether you plan to leave the abuser or not.
We understand it isn’t always easy to leave a home where family violence has occurred. Many victims of domestic violence hesitate to leave because they fear their abuser, believe the abuse is their fault or don’t have the financial resources to get out of an abusive situation. Please know there are resources available to help you, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline is a great place to start:
Every Fort Worth domestic violence lawyer at our firm will tell you that domestic violence tends to escalate over time. What often starts as verbal abuse can escalate to a slap, then a punch, then a choke and worse. If you seek counseling during the early stages of family violence, and the abusive party agrees to get help, you may be able to keep your family together. Unfortunately, that frequently isn’t the case.
If you and/or your children have been victims of domestic violence it’s critical to collect evidence of the abuse (like reporting incidents to the police) because the burden will be on you to prove the abuse occurred. You can’t just go to court and make claims without having clear and convincing evidence to back them up. The best evidence includes pictures, video and audio recordings, witness testimony, police reports and protective orders that have been properly executed through the Texas family courts.
Along with collecting evidence, it’s important to save that evidence in a safe place, like a safety deposit box or with your attorney or a trusted family member or friend. Do not save evidence on a shared family computer, tablet or email account the other party can access.
Establishing a timeline of the abuse, backed by clear and convincing evidence, is also critical if you want to prove domestic violence occurred in your case. That’s why it’s vital to report incidents of abuse, capture screenshots of harassing text messages and social media posts (which can easily be deleted), and record and save video and audio of abusive behavior whenever possible.
If you’re searching for a domestic violence lawyer near me you probably want to know what a domestic violence attorney Fort Worth TX can do to help you navigate the Texas legal system. The role of the domestic violence lawyer for victims of abuse is to provide legal guidance and facilitate legal actions against the alleged abuser through temporary orders (like temporary restraining orders) and protective orders. They can also provide guidance pertaining to divorce and child custody concerns.
While your attorney should listen and be compassionate, don’t mistake him or her for a therapist. That’s where family counselors, clergy and other mental health professionals can help. Instead, rely on your domestic violence lawyer to handle the legal aspects of your case.
One of those legal aspects is to execute temporary orders, which are typically preventive in nature. For example, say the other party is constantly harassing and badgering you. Your domestic violence attorney can put injunctions and restraining orders in place that restrain or enjoin a party from certain conduct, such as harassing behavior, disparaging behavior, contacting you repeatedly or contacting your children repeatedly while in your possession. If the temporary restraining order is violated, a party can file an enforcement against the other party for a violation. The enforcement can be for civil or criminal contempt.
While a protective order can be preventive as well, protective orders have more teeth to them. When a party has committed family violence in the past and is likely to perpetrate violence in the future, a protective order can help prevent that party from coming within 1,000 feet of you or having access to you at home or work. In the event the party violates the orders, you can call the police department and have the violating party arrested for a violation of a protective order.
There are two different types of protective orders. One pertains to physical violence and the other pertains to harassment. The harassment statute is much broader than the physical violence statute and will depend on whether a reasonable finder of fact (a judge) believes the conduct to be harassing or egregious in nature. One or two text messages typically don’t qualify as harassment. It’s typically the barrage of 30 or 40 text messages or where the party is contacting third parties (like your boss or clients ) that qualify.
In Texas, domestic violence can also have an impact on financial settlements in divorce. While Texas is a no-fault divorce state, if the evidence shows a party did perpetrate family violence, that “fault” could be used as a reason to award the other party a larger portion of a couple’s marital estate.
False accusations of domestic violence are commonplace, which is why the Texas family courts require parties to present clear and convincing evidence that physical or emotional abuse has occurred. The burden truly lies with the accuser or victim because he said-she said doesn’t fly in the family courts.
That being said, if you are searching for a domestic violence attorney near me because you have been falsely accused of family violence it’s vital to take those accusations very seriously. A domestic violence defense attorney can help you establish a defense strategy to dispute the allegations of abuse and take steps to investigate and dispel any false claims the other party has made against you.
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, a domestic violence defense lawyer at our Fort Worth family law firm would be happy to speak with you about your case. We have defended hundreds of clients falsely accused of family violence and know what it takes to annihilate false claims and help our clients achieve justice.
Contact the Sisemore Law Firm in Fort Worth to schedule a confidential case review with our founder attorney Justin Sisemore. During your case review, we’ll take a deep dive into the aspects of your domestic violence case and provide you with a clear plan regarding our approach and recommended next steps. You can reach the firm at (817) 336-4444.