Family Law Attorney in Utah
Domestic Violence Specialized Representation Tailored to Your Goals

Salt Lake County Domestic Violence Attorneys

Offering Compassionate Counsel & Legal Protection

For those with questions about domestic violence and divorce rights, domestic violence and child custody, or concerns about their safety, it is important to meet with a knowledgeable and trusted attorney. If you are facing this kind of sensitive and potentially dangerous situation, you can turn to Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC for legal guidance and protection.

Contact us at (801) 515-4133 for a free case review to see how we can help. From our Draper office, we serve Salt Lake County and Utah County.

What Is Domestic Violence?

While many people have specific images of what is considered domestic violence in their mind, the law defines it as the abuse of one partner by the other while the two are engaged in an intimate relationship, such as marriage. Domestic violence can also occur between dating partners, parents and children, siblings, and roommates.

Some types of domestic violence include:

  • Physical assault, such as striking the other partner
  • Shoving a partner
  • Sexual assault (including rape)
  • Stalking the partner
  • Intimidation
  • Trying to isolate the partner from his or her family members or friends
  • Emotional abuse
  • Withholding money or hiding funds in an effort to control the other partner’s actions

Sometimes, when the violence reaches its worst point – such as in a life-threatening situation – one partner may decide to leave the relationship. It is important for those who are considering leaving an abusive relationship to think about their safety during this time. Some of the factors to consider when divorcing an abusive spouse include restraining orders related to the divorce and domestic violence.

Leaving an Abusive Relationship: Establishing an Emergency Order of Protection

Those who are in a violent relationship should prioritize the safety of themselves and their children. Domestic violence divorce rates and statistics demonstrate that one of the most dangerous points in the relationship is leaving. Therefore, if you are involved in an abuse relationship, you and your children need to find a location where the abusive partner cannot find you. Think about staying with a friend the abuser doesn’t know, a domestic violence shelter, or even a hotel.

If you have time to plan, some of the important things to think about include:

  • Leaving clothing and other essentials with a friend to hide the packing
  • Starting to document the examples of physical or emotional abuse
  • Noting dates and times of important events
  • Making a list of safe contacts
  • Starting to stockpile cash when possible

Some of the important items that you should consider taking with you include:

  • Credit cards
  • A checkbook
  • Social security cards
  • Proof of income, such as W-2s
  • Bank statements
  • Proof of past abuse including statements, pictures, or even videos

It is vital to go to a court quickly to establish an emergency protection order. This order should state that the abuser needs to stay away from you and your children. The order should also give you custody of your children. Then, it is crucial to consider hiring a Salt Lake County domestic violence lawyer.

Domestic Violence in Child Custody Cases

Those who are leaving an abusive relationship also need to think about how this is going to affect their children. The emergency order of protection will keep the abuser away temporarily, but more permanent rulings are needed.

When the courts rule on child custody, they are going to rule in the best interests of the children. This means considering whether the home is safe. Judges in Utah will consider the presence of abuse and domestic violence charges when making their child custody decisions. It has been well-established that violence impacts children, that seeing violence negatively affects their upbringing, and that children who witness violence may accept it as normal. Therefore, this will likely influence both child custody and visitation decisions in domestic violence cases. Therefore, making a long-term plan for the children is a crucial part of all divorce proceedings.

Tips for Divorce Cases Involving Domestic Violence

Finally, there are also several other tips that you should remember if you are leaving an abusive relationship.

These include:

  • Do not forget to document evidence of abuse to help establish a protective order with the help of a lawyer
  • If you have experienced domestic violence and need help with a divorce or custody case, do not agree to attend mediation without first hiring an attorney to help you negotiate a settlement
  • Even the simple threat of harm to children will lead to full custody being awarded to you

Most importantly, remember to ask for help from a trained legal professional. At Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC, we offer compassionate counsel to the victims of domestic violence. We are here to help you through this difficult and emotional situation.

Call (801) 515-4133 now to request a free consultation.

Testimonials

Real Clients. Real Results. 
  • Amy Lee

    He is very prompt with his responses to emails and phone calls which makes the process less stressful.

  • Dalisa

    This was all so stress free. I’m extremely great full for Preston and his staff for putting forth all the time to help me out!

  • Bart

    Highly recommend Eric and Preston without reservation. Their fees are more than reasonable and their service more than expected.

  • Nicolle G.

    I have had an absolutely positive experience through and through with them. They’re professional, empathetic, and ethical. I wish ...

  • Thomas M.

    He handled all matters promptly and thoroughly. He cares deeply about his clients and makes sure their needs are fully understood.

  • Bethany

    He and his office were conscientious about my financial needs and made sure I knew when charges were going to be made, so it ...

  • Logan

    I couldn’t be more pleased with the results and would definitely recommend Eric to anyone looking for a fantastic lawyer and a ...

  • Jared H.

    All issues were handled in a very timely and transparent manner.

  • Sean K.

    Working with Eric was a breeze. He addressed my concerns and laid out several options that were unique to my situation.

  • Robin S.

    If it wasn't for Eric and Preston, I wouldn't have gotten custody of my 2 children.

Meet Our Team

Professional. Confident. Approachable.
  • Eric M. Swinyard Photo
    Eric M. Swinyard

    Founding Attorney

    Eric M. Swinyard is a litigation and small business attorney who serves clients throughout Utah and across the country. He has offices in both Salt Lake County and Utah County. Eric’s practice is focused on providing personalized, high-quality legal services to both individuals and businesses. He regularly assists clients in various practice areas , including divorce , parentage ( paternity ), adoption , debt collection, estate planning , business advice, asset protection, litigation (civil, ...
  • Ryan  Ficklin Photo
    Ryan Ficklin

    Attorney

    Ryan Ficklin is an associate attorney at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC. Prior to practicing law in Utah, Ryan practiced family law in Southern California. In 2017, Ryan relocated back to his home state of Utah to focus on serving the people of Utah who need legal representation, particularly in the family law realm. Ryan graduated with honors from California’s Whittier Law School in May of 2015. While in law school, Ryan was a staff member for The Journal of Child and Family Advocacy. Ryan ...
  • Preston  Day Photo
    Preston Day

    Attorney

    Preston Day is an associate attorney at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC. Before assuming his position as an associate attorney, Preston spent over two years working as a prosecuting attorney for Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County. During his time as a prosecutor, he managed several hundred cases and took over 100 cases to trial. In his current role, Preston manages primarily divorce , family , and criminal cases . Preston began his legal career working as a law clerk for Judge Richard ...
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