Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Massachusetts Domestic Violence Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does the domestic violence victim have the right to meet with a judge to file a legal complaint against their spouse?

Good friend in Massachusetts is the spouse and husband in a domestic violent relationship. Recently asked for divorce in a 22 yr marriage, 4 kids (1 left in the house age 13) and the spouse is physically and emotionally abused. Recently unemployed, and wife does not work. Since asking for... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Apr 28, 2019

No- he does not have any right to meet with a judge privately if that is what you mean. He also needs to proceed very carefully documenting the wifes abuse and outbursts too as in 2 seconds she will turn it around on him and claim he has abused her. And it is likely when a woman claims abuse that... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: How deep do dv defense lawyers look into witnesses, current employment, detailed background, credit checks?

How far into the witness do you look and do you share any details from those three with your clients?

Such as

places of work

Credit history or report

Detailed background information like previous addresses or anything like that

Dakota Martin
Dakota Martin answered on Apr 4, 2019

DV as in domestic violence? It really depends on how serious the case is. In many cases, the search is simply asking the court to run a witness's record. No record, no further search. If the accused knows areas that should be investigated, defense attorneys have a duty to investigate... or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Is a R.I Family Court Judge obligated to hear a child abuse case ?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Feb 26, 2019

Whether RI is required to hear it is a question of RI law and procedure, and you have posted to Massachusetts lawyers.

However, if this were a MA case the answer is no- not necessarily. The Court would hear cases brought in front of it by DCF or the District Attorney as a matter of course....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I am going through a divorce. I can't afford a lawyer or qualify for a free one I am 61 years old. Do I need a lawyer?

Of course no children. No home. Only tax debt. $20,000. I qualify for tax relief, he does not. Is this debt automatically split 50/50?

The document has alimony checked off.

We are both on disability and currently earn about the same. I am in the apartment and paying all the bills.... Read more »

Christine G. DeBernardis
Christine G. DeBernardis answered on Jan 31, 2019

You can certainly proceed without counsel. If you cannot afford an attorney, check with your local court to see if they have an "attorney for the day" program or legal aid to assist.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a victim be forced to testify
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Oct 30, 2018

In some situations a victim can be forcecd to testify. You may assert your right not to testify if you have a 5th Amendment Right not to incriminate yourself as to any crime, including perjury in the charges, drug abuse etc. If you are married to the alleged abuser, you can assert marital... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: My boyfriend was arrested for Domestic assault and battery. He did not touch me. Will the case get dismissed.
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 13, 2018

Whether the case gets dismissed or not largely depends on the evidence, not just on whether you testify or not. There are many factors such as if/who made the 911 call. The 911 call may be admissible under certain circumstances, based on case law. Did the police enter the home and take pictures... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Girlfriend's ex is becoming harassing, threatening and also stalking. Need advice what steps to take.

Ex is living in another state. He hasn't seen his kids for 5 years, didn't pay child support for the past year, didn't call, nothing. Filed for summer custody - judge basically laughed at him, allowed him (1) 30 minute phone call each day and 1 text to his ex per day to ask about... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 3, 2018

It sounds like the children's father is in contempt of the "visitation" order by using his texts to do other than discuss the children so mother should bring a Contempt Complaint and also a Modification complaint seeking to terminate the contacts to her. If they threaten her life... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Would I be able to take my ex to court and win the case?

Back in October I had my ex boyfriend arrested for domestic violence. We had an apartment together but now he is legally not allowed here even tho his name is on the lease because I got a restraining order put on him. I’m severely struggling financially due to the fact that I was used to 2... Read more »

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on May 1, 2018

You could file a small claims case in housing court https://www.mass.gov/service-details/small-claims-in-housing-court

Here is some info about utility shutoffs https://www.masslegalhelp.org/housing/lt1-chapter-6-protections-against-shut-offs

For more help try calling legal aid in...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a no contact order be filed between me and another person on my behalf if I didn't consent

My partner was arrested and they were told there's a no contact order but I never filed one could there still be one and when would I be served.

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Apr 11, 2018

If you were involved in the arrest of your partner as a witness or complainant, then at his arraignment the Commonwealth requested a no contact order on your behalf. If you did not request it, or they did not speak to you about this at all, you may want to call the local Office of the District... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it legal for a husband to search through his wife's phone?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Apr 11, 2018

There are no laws that make it illegal per se, unless he hacked into it and committed a cyber crime. There are many variables in play here otherwise. That might depend on who holds the account for the phone, who purchased it, and whether any family funds paid the bill for it; or whether it was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: What are the options for me to ignore a person from your past that made you feel manipulated

there’s this boy who I’ve known since I was 14 and he wanted pictures of me so he asked I said no and he asked again but he said “Do it.” And it kept going on and off until he stared to blackmail me again saying if I don’t do what he’s asking he’s gonna expose me to the world. This... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Apr 11, 2018

I am a bit unclear whether you ever gave him the pictures and now he wants more, or he is just pestering you for them.

If he is truly blackmailing you by threatening to expose a picture of you publicly, that is called extortion, and is also a cyber crime and criminal harassment. Screen...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: dcf is going to give my kids to my wife what can do to prevent that?

She was charged for domestic abuse and the children were taken from me saying the house was unsafe

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 21, 2018

Was the house unsafe because of the domestic abuse which was observed by the children? If so, you would need to separate yourself from your wife-filing for divorce, e.g.,moving to another residence away from the abuser are such actions.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My divorce won’t be absolute until 4/6. I was advised to go for an emergency motion for sole custody...my chances?

My ex husband is refusing to communicate with me about our sons medical care during his visitation. On two separate occasions I’ve picked my son up and his breathing has been exasperated as if he hadn’t received any treatment. This past weekend, he had him and I picked him up Sunday and after... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 29, 2018

Was the visitation situation different before the divorce? How old is the child? perhaps visits overnight are premature. Was he attentive to the asthma then prior to the divorce and now is not taking it seriously? Was this a new diagnosis? What does the pediatrician indicate about the child's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I got a restraining order against my ex. They were never able to serve him.

A week after i went to court and dropped the restraining order because i do want to work things out. However, he recieved a note from the sheriffs department asking that he contact them. Could they still be trying to serve him even after i dropped it? I filed the restraining order in Massachusetts... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Aug 17, 2017

Is it a criminal or family law order? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, Federal Crimes and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: If there is a aggravated assault and battery case but it was an accident can the state drop the charges

If he hit my phone out of my hand and it hit my stomach and im pregnant it was an accident can they drop the charges if i tell the DA that it was a accident and he didn't intentionally try to hurt me or the baby?

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jun 5, 2017

The DA decides whether to file or move to dismiss charges, not the victim. The victim can testify as to the facts. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Im separated with my wife,there is no child support order from court. Hiw can i support my son. And how can i see him.

My wife lives in a shelter with my son, and there is no legale separation filed yet or a divorce filed. There is no child support order from court, and i want to support my son finnancially and i want to ger visitation right, how can i support my son and how to get visitation time. I didnt see hime... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on May 26, 2017

You can file for child custody in court. Child support is paid to the mom pursuant to a court order. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Can have a demostic violence charge and not face prison time

I never asaulted the victim with a close fist or raised my hand to asault the victim. I intend classes for Demostic violence and seek parenting counciling. Will this help my case

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Mar 25, 2017

You shouldn't discuss such case facts in a public forum, as this can be used against you in your case. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, International Law and Internet Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am threatened and blackmailed by someone in another country. Can US police do anything about it?

My boyfriend living in another country has been blackmailing me with revenge porn and has threatened my life several times. I have lots of proof of this in text messages. When we met he also abused me. I don't know if going to the police will help because I have heard they have no jurisdiction... Read more »

Brian Lehman
Brian Lehman answered on Feb 8, 2017

The state has jurisdiction when its citizens are harmed or threatened. The more likely reason for this response is that they do not want to get involved because he is overseas and it takes a lot of effort to get him. Does he ever travel back to the states?

Here is a chart outlining the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I packed some things to leave the house because my wife and I were arguing and took the phone that she uses

The phone payment and the bill are in my name. She pushed me into the wall then grabbed my crotch trying to get the phone. There was a landline in the basement so she had access to 911. She lied on a ex parte order to get a restraining order. I've been contimplating pressing charges it's... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 23, 2017

You would be best advised to report the matter to the police as soon as possible. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website. I practice law... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: My ex was staying at this guy's house temporarily until apartment was looking for was ready that he was goin

He said there was nothing between them it was just there for the drugs and the place temporary my ex was in a bad accident and he was not allowed to see him by the family what right does he have to put a restraining order on me

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 18, 2017

It depends on whether you've been acting in a threatening manner towards him. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.