Wichita Falls Domestic Violence Lawyer: Recognizing and Stopping Abuse

Wichita Falls Domestic Violence Lawyer
Wichita Falls Domestic Violence Lawyer Richard T. Sutherland – (940) 691-2100

Defining Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic violence is behavior pattern through which the abuser keeps power and control over their partner in an intimate relationship, regardless of whether the individuals are married. Domestic violence affects people regardless of their race, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation. People right here in Wichita Falls, from all walks of life can be victims of domestic violence, regardless of financial status and access to a Wichita Falls domestic violence lawyer for help.

Physical abuse can include hurting another directly by pulling hair, hitting, biting, choking, slapping, kicking or using weapons to cause harm. Not all physical abuse leaves scars. There are plenty of abuse cases where victims are held captive, abandoned in strange places or are forced to participate in harmful situations including forced use of drugs or alcohol.

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline Anytime 24/7: 1-800-799-SAFE / 1-800-799-7233

Common strategies abusers use to keep control over their victims:

  • Intimidation – that look, gesture, display of force, weapons and acts of destruction
  • Threats – making threats to leave, hurt, harm, or act to cause harm or embarrassment
  • Isolation – preventing the other from talking to or having access to friends and family
  • Economic Abuse –withholding money, preventing the other from making money
  • Emotional Abuse – put downs, name calling, guilting behavior, suggesting insanity
  • Undermining the Other Parent – using the children, harassing, threatening to take children
  • Using Children as Pawns – talking bad about the other, using leverage to earn favor
  • Strong Expectant Behavior – treating the other like a servant or subservient human

Why Do People Abuse Others?

To maintain power and control, domestic violence abusers hurt their intimate partners. Abusers are often internally insecure and lack feelings of self-worth and control in their lives. Some people say that abusers likely have been victims of abuse at some point in their lives. Some also say that abuse is learned through society and culture.

There is never an excuse to abuse another or commit acts of domestic violence towards your intimate partner. Regardless of the source of or reason people commit abuse, it is never acceptable.

Protective Orders and Domestic Violence

Protective Orders are available for victims of domestic violence when those victims decide to leave and get help. A protective order, based on a sworn statement and evidence by the applicant, can be ordered by the court to order the abuser to stay away from the victim, with a list of restrictions. Violating a protective order may earn the abuser a one-way trip to jail. In cases where the abuser and victim are married, a protective order is part of the initial proceedings in a divorce.

Be prepared when you seek a protective order because an already angry and agitated abuser can seek revenge including serious bodily harm and death. To be as prepared as possible, talk to your attorney, counselor, clergy member or any other who may be helping you plan to leave an abuser safely, with much attention paid to protecting you and your location and travels.

Richard T. Sutherland is a divorce and family law attorney in Wichita Falls, Texas, representing men and women with legal issues involving allegations of domestic abuse and family violence. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you need a Wichita Falls domestic violence lawyer, call the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland in at (940) 691-2100.  

Custody Modification Issues in Wichita Falls, Texas

Custody Modification Issues
Call Richard T. Sutherland for Answers to Custody Modification Issues and Questions in Wichita Falls, Texas. (940) 691-6200.

Despite the Best Plans, Custody Modification Can be Necessary

While following the terms of your divorce decree or custody order, there may be bumps in the road, some more significant than others. Issues with conservatorship, possession of or access to the child can arise out of parents’ new relationships, job opportunities and military deployments. There are also times that child abuse, family violence and changes in financial circumstances make it necessary to file a custody modification case to set a new order for conservatorship or possession and access that is in the best interests of the child or children.

In a custody modification case, the party bringing suit must be able to establish a material and substantial change of circumstances, something more than the inconvenience of one parent not being able to make scheduled weekend pick-ups and drop-offs.

Every modification case is unique, and you should obtain proper legal advice to learn your rights and where you stand in bringing a modification suit. In Wichita Falls, Texas, Richard T. Sutherland advises and represents parents with custody and modification issues.

Job Change and Relocation Issues Affecting Custody Arrangements

When a parent has a new opportunity for career advancement, the new job can be beneficial for everyone in the family, including children whose needs become more expensive as they grow older and get closer to high school and their future beyond. At a crossroads, the new job opportunity may affect the parent’s current rights and duties regarding possession and access, regardless whether they are the primary parent with a right to determine the child’s residence.

The parent with possession and access on first, third and fifth weekends, for example, might need to travel further for pick-ups and drop-offs. But what happens when their new job is in South Carolina as opposed to Oklahoma, and transportation and distance are issues?

Listen to Richard T. Sutherland speak on relocation issues in a recent podcast, “Geographic Restrictions and Relocation.”

Grounds for Modification of Custody Orders in Texas

When the terms and conditions of conservatorship, possession of or access to a child are sought to be modified, and it would be in the best interests of the child, the court may modify that custody order. The circumstances of the child, a conservator or other party affected by the original order of the court have materially and substantially changed.

The facts that give rise to what the court may consider a material or substantial change are unique to every family and custody case. An experienced child custody lawyer can advise you as to whether your situation warrants a modification. Some factors that can affect your chances at obtaining a modification may be the age of the child, increased expenses because of change of residence, conviction for child abuse or family violence, military duty obligations and more.

In Wichita Falls, Texas, parents who need a custody modification may seek the advice and representation of child custody attorney Richard T. Sutherland, an experienced and frequent speaker on children’s issues and protecting their best interests. Call Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls at (940) 691-2100 with your questions and custody modification issues.