Any married couple in New Jersey, no matter their socioeconomic background, culture or beliefs, is susceptible to domestic violence, whether as a victim or as a perpetrator. Just because it can affect anyone, no one should think domestic violence is “okay” or something someone should just learn to live with.
Indeed, they can and should seek out immediate legal help; they should not try to sweep the issue under the rug or wait for a divorce to go through before doing something about it in the hope the situation will get better. It probably won’t get better and may well get tragically worse.
Aside from calling the police, victims of domestic violence can also go to court to get a civil restraining order from a judge. In New Jersey, a restraining order allows a judge to formally prevent an abuser from contacting his or her victim. The court can also forbid the abuser from going somewhere, like the victim’s home or school, where the victim is likely to be.
Courts can also use restraining orders as a vehicle for making temporary orders regarding child custody, support and parenting time if the abuser and the victim have children in common, as is often the case. The court can in some cases also require the abuser not to possess a gun and to dispose of any firearms he or she does own.
Restraining orders can be enforced either through contempt proceedings or via criminal penalties. A person who is the target of a restraining order can go to jail for not complying with it.
As a word of caution, though, the target of a restraining order is eventually going to get their day in court in order to be able to tell their version of events. A victim will be expected to explain to a judge why they feel abuse has indeed occurred and why they should have a restraining order.
For this and other reasons, it is usually a good idea for a Marlton, New Jersey, resident who needs a restraining order to seek out the assistance of experienced legal counsel.