For legal purposes, domestic violence means physical harm, bodily injury, assault, including sexual assault, stalking, or inflicting fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault between family or household members. Domestic Violence can also mean other types of abuse, like financial, verbal and emotional, and although these are not used to define Domestic Violence in court, they are used in a Domestic Violence Treatment screening process and evaluations.
Petitioner: The person who asked for protection.
Respondent: The person who the order was filed against.
Modification: A change made to an existing order.
Also called a Protection Order Liaison, is available to assist you and will help select the appropriate Protection Order for your circumstances. They can also provide you the Protection Order paperwork, explain to you the process and the process for serving the other party with a Protection Order or modification of an order.
A case coordinator may be assigned to monitor your case. The Respondent will need to report completion of screening and treatment progress to this person.
You may be ordered professional supervised visitation. If this is the case, you may also be responsible to pay for these visitations. Contact a family visitation agency as soon as possible to set up your visits. The other parent will be responsible to do this as well. The Case Supervisor will be responsible for arranging the visits as a mediator so that you can avoid contact with the other parent.
Guardian Ad Litems:
If you are involved in a divorce, paternity or non parental custody case where the other parent does not agree with you, the court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). A GAL may be an attorney, social worker or psychologist in private practice; a community volunteer (CASA) or a family court staff person. The court may order both parties to pay for the GAL’s fees. The GAL does not represent you or the other parent, their role is to represent your child’s best interest. In the court case the GAL will make recommendations to the court which could be considered in the court’s custody decision.