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Domestic Violence (Washington)

Domestic Violence Guide


Unfortunately, many family law cases involve various forms of domestic abuse; such violence may necessitate seeking out an order of protection in order to keep you and your children physically safe. The courts have no tolerance for domestic violence and can provide a streamlined process for victims to easily pursue the level of protection that they need. The terms of a Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) Protection Order can vary to meet the necessary safety needs of your specific situation. The law allows you to obtain protection from domestic violence without having to first file for a divorce or legal separation. A restraining order is a court order that tells the other person (the “respondent”) to leave you and your children alone; it can tell the respondent to move from your home and deal with a temporary custody and parenting time arrangement of your children. It can also require the respondent to stay away from your home, school, place of employment, children’s day care provider, and other provisions that you think will help keep your family safe. Depending on the situation, the order may also prevent the respondent from possessing firearms.

These types of orders can only deal with custody and parenting time issues temporarily; to get “permanent” custody and parenting time orders put in place, you need to file a family law case (such as a divorce or a custody case.)

Domestic violence may take many forms beyond physical abuse that would allow someone to get a protective order; emotional, mental, and financial abuse within a marriage can have a significant impact on how your divorce progresses, as well as the type of support you might need.

Our attorneys are well-versed in the subtleties of domestic violence and are well-equipped to help you navigate the process.

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