Legal Information: General

Know the Laws

A brief description of the difference between state laws and federal laws.

A restraining order is a legal order requiring one person to stop harming another.

General information about custody and visitation laws.

When parents are not living together, the parent who is primarily raising the children (the custodial parent) can file for child support against the other parent (the non-custodial parent).

This page addresses some general (not state-specific) laws of one parent taking a child out of the state or country, without the other parent's consent.

General information (not state-specific) about the basic steps to get a divorce.

In many states, there are housing laws that offer protections and benefits to victims of domestic violence. For example, a victim may be able to break a lease without financial penalty or the law may demand that a landlord change the victims’ locks to keep an abuser out. Other laws may outlaw discrimination against a victim of abuse who wants to become a tenant or may prevent a landlord from evicting a victim of abuse due to repeated police visits to the home.

Although federal anti-discrimination laws protect people against workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, pregnancy, and disabilities, some state laws take it a step further and specifically protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition, many state laws guarantee a victim of abuse the right to take off from work to attend court or receive help to deal with the abuse.

Many people are aware that conversations with their lawyer are generally protected under laws that guarantee an “attorney-client privilege.” Basically, this means that the lawyer is required to keep all oral and written communications with his/her client private and confidential (with some exceptions). However, what may not be as well-known is that many states also have laws that provide a similar privilege for victims of domestic or sexual violence and non-attorney advocates who help them. So, if a victim of abuse is talking to an advocate on a hotline, at a local domestic violence program

General information (not state-specific) about crimes the abuser may have committed.

There are state laws that may make it illegal for an abuser to buy or have a gun.

You may have a right to sue an abuser for medical costs, destroyed property, or other damages.