Domestic Violence

If your safety is at risk due to the actions of a family member, seeking a domestic violence order is imperative. In Kentucky, domestic violence includes physical injury, stalking, sexual assault, assault, strangulation, or the infliction of fear through threats thereof committed at the hands of a family member. A family member is defined as a spouse or former spouse, a grandparent, a grandchild, a parent, an adult sibling, a child or stepchild, or any person living in the same household as a child if the child is the alleged victim.

A victim of domestic violence can request protection, often referred to as an emergency protective order, by filing a petition in their county of residence or in another county if they are fleeing domestic violence. This protection can be granted for the petitioner alone and/or on behalf of children under the age of eighteen (18). If you are a child, a safe adult family member may request protection on your behalf.

If a protective order is issued, it will remain in effect pending a hearing to determine if further protection is necessary. The protective order may restrict an alleged perpetrator of domestic violence from contacting the petitioner, require that they leave a shared residence, restrict them from disposing of or destroying property, prevent them from owning firearms, or even award the petitioner temporary custody of children.

In most circumstances, even where an emergency protective order is denied, the Court will issue a summons for both parties to appear for a full hearing within fourteen (14) days of the request. During this hearing the Court will take testimony and review evidence such as videos, communications between the parties, and photographs before making its ultimate decision.

If the Court determines domestic violence has occurred and is likely to occur again, it will enter a domestic violence order for up to three (3) years. The specific conditions of each domestic violence order may differ but can include restrictions on contact, a prohibition on the ownership of firearms, removal from a shared residence, orders not to dispose or damage property, counseling requirements, and temporary custody and child support provisions.

The Jefferson County, Kentucky Domestic Violence Intake Center (DVIC) is available to you around the clock each and every day. The DVIC is located at the Hall of Justice at the corner of 6th Street and Jefferson Street.

The process of obtaining domestic violence protection through family court, as well as the defense against unfounded allegations, is daunting and emotionally taxing. Kellner Green attorneys can help you walk through this process to help you achieve your desired outcome.

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