If you have been the victim of domestic violence, the last thing you need is a lawyer who makes you feel even worse. A lot of people come to our office having had bad experiences with other attorneys in dealing with either their final restraining order hearing, hearing preparation, or perhaps a divorce or custody issue in which domestic violence has factored in.
At the Law Offices of Lynda Hinkle, we take the unique needs of the domestic violence survivor very seriously, but whether you are with us or another attorney, you have certain rights you can and should assert with any legal professional that you hire to help you through this process.
The Domestic Violence Survivor’s Lawyer Bill of Rights
You have a right to a lawyer who:
* Carefully explains how the law affects you
* Helps you determine what your goals are in any litigation and how to best reach those goals
* Is not difficult to get ahold of when you need a question answered (perhaps not in the middle of the night! But lawyers should return your calls within a business day or have someone call and explain why they cannot)
* Explores with you how negotiation between your lawyer and either the abuser’s attorney or the abuser themselves may positively or negatively impact your situation
* Takes seriously your fears about retribution and your need to protect yourself and helps you develop a safety plan
* Respects your right to make your own decisions as to how things should progress
* Does not pressure you to enter into agreements that you feel unsafe about
* Considers the needs and safety of your children as well as you
* Understands that leaving is the most dangerous time
* Is neither afraid to deal with your abuser, nor the sort to antagonize the abuser inappropriately(at times it is appropriate and necessary to back down a bully, but not just to humiliate them) so that they redirect their anger at you
* Understands that you have a right to whatever feelings you have — even if you still love the person hurting you
* Can help connect you to resources to address other physical and emotional needs you may have.
Stay safe. Find a good lawyer. Thrive.
If you are experiencing domestic violence and need legal assistance, call 856-227-7888 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation. We have locations in Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester counties, and are happy to discuss your legal options. We will get you the help you need.