The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA) of 1991 lists 14 specific offenses that could be classified as domestic violence. The PDVA lists harassment, stalking and criminal assault as activities that are prohibited in the state of New Jersey. Furthermore, this piece of legislation outlaws assault, kidnapping and false imprisonment. To be charged with domestic violence, a perpetrator must either be a legal adult or an emancipated minor.

In addition, the victim and the perpetrator must have had a romantic or other type of qualifying relationship either when the act occurred or at some point in the past. For instance, a person who caused harm to a spouse or the parent of that person’s child would likely have engaged in domestic violence. Those who abuse elderly individuals who they care for may also be charged with this type of crime. It is important to note that both men and women can be considered victims of domestic violence.

Those who are convicted of violating the PDVA could face both criminal and civil penalties. Furthermore, those who are charged with violating this law may be required to turn their weapons over to authorities. Individuals who have been harmed by a family member or romantic partner may apply for an order of protection against their abusers.

A domestic violence victim may be able to obtain full rights to a child in a divorce settlement. That person may also be entitled to child support payments from the other parent even if his or her parental rights are terminated. An attorney with experience in divorce-domestic violence cases may be able to further explain the process of obtaining sole custody of a son or daughter when a marriage ends. A legal professional may also help a person obtain spousal support or other financial assistance from a former spouse.