Q: I am seeking legal council regarding a complaint filed against me for child abuse which involves vawa act application
My ex is seeking a green card through filing a child abuse case against me. I am seeking legal counseling
A: Not so unusual, if you are being charged or investigated for a crime by the police or think you may soon be, hire a criminal lawyer. If you are merely seeking child custody or some other family law issue, hire a family law lawyer.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) is a federal program that supports comprehensive, and cost-saving responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. VAWA gives states and communities tools to assist victims based on local and statewide needs and priorities.
In New Jersey, if your ex believed that you engaged in domestic violence behavior, her recourse would be through the domestic violence laws of the state, regardless of whether she was seeking a green card.
A municipal court judge or a superior court judge would examine the domestic violence complaint filed by her to determine if she had sufficiently pled an entitlement to temporary protections under the statute. Presuming that she had done so, then a domestic violence temporary restraining order would be entered in her favor and a return date set for you and her to appear before a superior court judge, to determine if a permanent restraining order should be entered in her favor.
If your ex has obtained a temporary restraining order against you, it is imperative that you meet with a family law trial lawyer immediately to discuss the consequences of that order and its impact on your relationship with your child. You also need to discuss the claims made against you. In reaching out to a lawyer, make sure to give him a copy of the complaint served on you by the police/court staff so that he knows exactly what the claims are against you, the return date of the application, and the judge handling the matter.
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