Fighting for custody of your child can be among the most painful, upsetting experiences you go through as a parent. This can be especially true if there are certain attributes or events that put you in an unfavorable light.
Oftentimes clients come into our office with no awareness that domestic violence is more than just physical abuse. Many people are unknowing of the reality that they have either been victims or perpetrators of domestic violence for years. People resort to several types of behavior to exert control over an intimate partner or loved one, including emotional abuse, threats, isolation, and intimidation, which each constitute forms of domestic violence. Domestic violence can also take the form of economic abuse such as when a person tries to keep an intimate partner from getting or keeping a job, making a loved one ask for money, imposing on them "an allowance" or cutting off their access to money. If children are involved in the relationship, a person may use the children to make the other partner feel guilty, threaten to take the children away, use the children to give messages and use visitation as a way to harass. These are all examples of intimidation and control which may qualify as domestic violence.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, the law which protects people from domestic violence in the State of New Jersey is known as the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act." Whether or not a person is protected under the Act depends on whether he or she (1) qualifies as a "victim", (2) has suffered at least one of fourteen acts of domestic violence, and (3) has an ongoing need for protection.