Domestic violence and abuse has become rather prevalent in today’s society. However, there are legal solutions to the issue, but the issue is a very serious one that affects family matters. It can affect child custody, visitation with children, and a person’s overall relationship with their family.

If you are the victim of domestic violence or you are someone who has been accused of domestic violence and you need to defend yourself against the charges, a Duluth family law lawyer can help you with the matter.

Domestic Abuse

Minnesota law defines domestic abuse as:

  • Physical harm or fear of physical harm being inflicted by a family member
  • Criminal sexual conduct committed by a member of the family
  • A family member is defined as being a person who is considered a family member. This can be a child, a spouse, or any other relative within the home. Cohabitants and others with a child in common also constitute “family.”

If an act of domestic violence does occur within the household, the victim can turn to the protection of the Minnesota domestic Abuse Act, which allows them to obtain an Order for Protection (OFP). An OFP ensures that the person who is accused of domestic violence doesn’t make contact with the victim. If they do, they can be arrested for the violation.

Helping You Address OFPs

Your Duluth family law lawyer will be able to help you whether you are someone needing an OFP or you need to defend yourself against one. While there are many cases where an OFP is rightfully needed, there are also cases where they are acquired due to false accusations. Either way, we are able to get to the bottom of the matter so that the correct result can be had.

When a person has been accused, they are entitled to an evidentiary hearing that proves whether or not the domestic abuse occurred. If it did, the OFP remains in effect. If it didn’t, then the OFP is lifted.

If a person violates an OFP, whether or not the OFP was legitimately acquired or not, the charge is a misdemeanor and it is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, 90 days in jail, or both. The police officer may make an arrest immediately and take the individual to jail. A violation is also a form of contempt of court and repeated violations can result in a felony charge. If convicted, the fine can be up to $1,000 and the prison time can be quite long. If there are questions at any time regarding domestic abuse or OFPs, your attorney will be there to answer all of your inquiries as soon as possible.

Harassment & Restraining Orders

When someone is constantly interfering with your life and affairs you need to have that person shut out.  A harassment or restraining order may be the best way to stop a person from contacting you. However, a court will only grant a harassment restraining order where it can be shown that the actions of the actor are intended to have an adverse effect on the victim’s safety or privacy.  Without an order controlling the actor’s behavior the conduct may continue negatively impacting the victim’s life.

Our office can help victims get refuge from a court for acts committed by another that the victim believes to be harassing, constant, unwelcome, stalking or worse. Common remedies through a harassment restraining order include no contact with a victim, not entering the victim’s home or place of work, and some times preventing indirect contact with the victim. Once a harassment restraining order is granted by the Court the defendant then will be subject to criminal liability for any further contact with the victim or petitioning party that is not previously approved by the Court.

More often than not what happens is that a victim has a good set of facts that warrant the issuance of a harassment restraining order from a judge but the victim is unable to work his or her way through the necessary paperwork or evidentiary rules to obtain the order.  This is where our office can provide the crucial difference to a victim of harassment.  We make sure that the judge hears your entire story so that you can get the relief that is severely needed. Contact our office today!

Enforcement of Orders

In family court, there are certain court orders that are put in place. Those orders can involve child support, alimony, or another matter. If a person fails to comply with an order, they are in contempt of court and that is very serious. If a person is found to be in contempt, they tend to be given the opportunity to make it right. If they don’t make it right, then they could be penalized in some way.

If you know of someone who is not complying with a court order and you need that order enforced, speak with an experienced Duluth family law lawyer who can work with you on informing the court of the failure to comply and can guide you through the process of ensuring an order is enforced.

Helping You Ensure Orders Are Enforced

The most common individuals to push for the enforcement of orders are those due some kind of payment, but they are not receiving the payment. Perhaps the issue may even involve visitation with a child that is not occurring because the non-custodial parent is not complying with the visitation order.

When a person violates a court order, someone is hurt in some way. If you are due child support or alimony and the payments are not being made by the other party, you and your Duluth family law attorney can make a motion for contempt of court so the court is aware that the other party has failed to follow the order.

It can be difficult for the courts to enforce these orders, so it is up to the individual parties to inform the court. For instance, the police will not know that a person violated an Order for Protection unless they are called so they can arrest the individual. If the police find that the individual did violate the order, they can make the arrest. Orders are put in place to ensure obligations are met. When obligations are not met, there are penalties that can be paid.

Skilled & Knowledgeable Representation

Our firm is able to help you with all types of court order enforcement. From a parent that doesn’t visit their child to a parent that doesn’t allow the other parent to visit, we can help you enforce everything from an Order for Protection to ensuring you receive the child support that your child is due for their needs. It is important to have legal representation because that can help reduce the stress in the matter, as well as ensure the proper steps are taken when working to ensure an order is followed.

Contact A Duluth Family Law Attorney

Domestic violence is sometimes an issue in family legal matters, especially in divorces or in domestic partner relationships. If you are the victim of domestic violence or you are someone who has been accused of domestic violence, then you have the right to legal representation to help you through the process. To learn more about how the Benjamin Kaasa Law Office, PLLC can help you, call 218-464-3397 for a consultation.