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Sadly, domestic violence and abuse remains 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 Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin 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.”

Wisconsin law defines domestic abuse as:

  • Intentional infliction of physical pain, physical injury or illness.
  • 2. Intentional impairment of physical condition.
  • Violation of Various Provisions of Wisconsin Criminal Law
  • A Threat to engage in any of the foregoing.

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 Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin 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, there are potential criminal penalties. 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 sometimes 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!

Order Enforcement & Contempt of Court

The failure to comply with a court order can have serious consequences.  A person who intentionally does not follow a court order may be held in contempt of court.  It is not uncommon for people to disregard orders about visitation, child support, property division, and spousal maintenance. When a judge finds a person in contempt of court the person in contempt must be given the opportunity to cure or purge the violation. If the person in contempt does not make good on the opportunity to cure or purge the wrong doing then they may be subject to monetary penalties, including the payment of attorney fees and costs, and/or incarceration.

If you know of someone who is not complying with a court order and you need that order enforced, speak with an experienced Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin family law attorney 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 failure to timely pay a family support obligation, which is either child support or spousal maintenance, is the most common reason for initiating contempt proceedings. The next most common reason is that parenting time or physical placement has been denied to one parent.

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 Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin 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.

A judge cannot enforce an order unless he or she is told about it.  So, it is up to the individual who has been harmed to inform the judge in writing that the order has not been followed and has caused harm to the reporting party.  Based upon the evidence submitted by the other party and you the judge will then determine whether the order was violated and what the sanction should be for violating the order.

To help you understand this I want you to consider the following example: You have a court order stating that a person must stay away from your residence. The person who is ordered to stay away from the house shows up at your house. What do you do? You call the police so that they can be made aware of what is going on.  If the police are not told about what is going on then they cannot help to enforce your order. If the police agree with you that the order was violated then they may arrest the person who was alleged to have violated the order.

Skilled & Knowledgeable Representation

Our firm is able to help you with all types of court order enforcement. From Visitation orders to Harassment Restraining Orders to Child Support to Spousal Maintenance to Domestic Abuse Restraining Orders or Injuctions . . . we do it all. 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 Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin 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. Additionally, we should be called to help you enforce the terms of any order you received from a family court judge. To learn more about how the Benjamin Kaasa Law Office, PLLC can help you, call 218-464-3397 for a consultation.

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