A Mark C. Cogan, P.C domestic violence lawyer in Portland can help the injured party prepare to leave and seek protection from further harm. But since the lives of the abused and his or her loved ones may be at stake, it is important that the injured party understands exactly how the lawyer will help. Ask these four important questions, and get the answers you need.
What’s the Scope of Representation Provided?
There are many things that must be done to ensure the injured party and his or her loved ones are protected from the abuse. A domestic violence lawyer can represent the victim in requesting a restraining order and in the court proceedings that follow. They can also assist the victim in obtaining a divorce, use of the family home, a partition of property, and custody of any children, if the parties were married. An attorney may also help to ensure that the abuser is prosecuted in a criminal suit and in securing housing, income, and food assistance. But not all attorneys do everything. The victim should understand what the attorneys will help with and for what situations additional help may be needed.
How Much Will This Cost?
Hiring an attorney is expensive. There are costs associated with filing documents in court and with obtaining evidence to use in representing the victim. Some lawyers charge by the hour. Others charge a flat fee. Still, others provide pro bono services, meaning they deliver services for free or at a reduced cost. The victim should understand billing methods and what services are covered by the billed amount.
Are These Cases in Your Primary Area of Practice?
Each victim’s case is unique. There is an extensive body of law surrounding cases involving abuse. Not only are there special legislation applicable only to domestic violence cases, but there are often attendant matters, such as divorce, custody, and property disputes.
What About Communication?
Confidentiality and openness are critical in an abuse case. You should feel comfortable telling your lawyer all details that might be relevant, and your lawyer should be trustworthy to keep sensitive information confidential. Your domestic violence attorney Portland should be able to address any concerns you may have with communication, work with you to ensure you are safe, and advise you on how frequently he will call with case updates.
Asking these important questions will help you get the assistance you need from a domestic violence lawyer in Portland.