Domestic Violence FAQ
Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects many families in Snohomish County and elsewhere in Washington. If you are facing a domestic abuse matter, you likely have questions about the road ahead. At Akiona Law, PLLC, in Everett, our team of attorneys strives to help you understand how domestic violence situations impact other areas of life.
How do I get my abusive spouse out of our house?
The quickest way to ensure your spouse is not allowed in your house is to file for a restraining order or order of protection. They are legal documents signed by the court that will restrict your spouse from contacting you or being within a certain distance of you. You may also request that the no contact order include your children.
Who gets the house?
If you and your ex have decided to divorce, your house will be addressed as part of the property division process. There are several factors that will be taken into account when determining how the house should be handled. Typically, divorcing spouses have the option of one spouse continuing to live in the home or selling it and splitting the profits. We can help you better understand what could work in your situation.
Criminal vs. civil domestic violence: What’s the difference?
A civil domestic violence matter is one in which the victim seeks a restraining order or order of protection against the abuser. As long as the alleged abuser does not violate the restraining order, the situation will remain a civil matter.
A domestic violence situation can become criminal when police are involved. For example, if police are called to a home about alleged abuse, and find reason to arrest the abuser for domestic violence, it becomes a criminal matter. Similarly, a civil domestic violence matter can become criminal if the alleged abuser violates an order of protection. Violating a civil protection order or a restraining order may result in criminal charges being brought against the offending party.
Will my spouse lose his job?
Maybe but not necessarily. It depends on the circumstances of your case. The respondent in a civil domestic violence protection order may lose his job if his job duties conflict with an order of protection. For example, if your spouse is required to carry a weapon as part of his job, the protection order may restrict him from carrying or possessing any weapon. Although, your spouse’s job duties may change to fit the terms of a restraining order. In rare instances, the restraining order may permit an exception for your spouse to carry or possess a weapon while at his place of employment. But no party should presume the court will allow this exception. If you’re concerned that your partner will lose his or her job if you seek a restraining order, it’s best to speak with an attorney to figure out what’s your best option given the specific set of facts in your case.
Most employers in Washington are at-will employers, meaning that they can fire anyone for any reason – other than discriminatory reasons – at any time. If being charged with domestic violence violates your spouse’s workplace code of conduct, it is possible he could be fired.
Who has to stay away from whom?
When it comes to restraining orders, many people are confused about who is required to adhere to the terms of the order. If you take out a restraining order — or an order of protection — against your spouse or partner, your spouse or partner must follow the order. Usually, this means your spouse or partner is not allowed to contact you or come within a certain distance of you.
However, if your spouse or partner takes out a restraining order against you, your spouse or partner can still legally contact you or be near you.
If you are worried about how a domestic violence situation will affect your relationship with your children, please visit our domestic violence and child custody page.
Meet With Our Team For A Consultation
No matter which side of a domestic violence situation you are on, our lawyers can answer your questions and ensure you are treated fairly throughout the process. Arrange an appointment online, or call us at 425-740-2209.