Important Tips about Domestic Violence Attorneys

Domestic violence is a very complex area of the law.

  • Lawyers who are good at one kind of law are not necessarily good at domestic abuse cases.

  • Most sources of attorney names are not pre-screened for experience in representing victims of domestic violence.

  • The Yellow Pages, most internet sites, and other advertising services often don't include information about which attorneys are knowledgeable in domestic violence.

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What clients look for when they hire Atticus Family Law

Legal Experience.

You’ll go a long way to find a more experienced boutique firm. With over fifteen years in practice, and devoted specifically to Minnesota and Wisconsin family law, we know the ins and outs of the system: we stay up to date with changes and are ready to pour over the details of your case with our expert eyes. Our legal services are second to none. In fact, we’re often called on to provide expert commentary on cases throughout the Minnesota and Wisconsin state areas. To us, that’s the bar of expertise we set, and bring to your case. You can relax — and know that you’re receiving the most experienced, qualified representation you need, along with the individualized attention you deserve (and that only a boutique firm can provide).

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Q: What is communication like as a client of Atticus Family Law?


We are open and transparent in all communications with our clients. We want you to understand the specifics of your Minnesota or Wisconsin divorce case, and feel like the light is always turned on. We also only bill you for the work we do — there are no hidden costs, and we make every effort to communicate these clearly at the beginning and throughout the process. This means no surprises, and clients who know they’re getting the very best level of personalized service, at the most competitive price.

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Social Science Update: Does a presumption of joint physical custody in the law make any difference in cases involving domestic abuse?

In 2011, social scientists looked at the effect of the 1997 change to Oregon’s custody law. The law changed to include the presumption that joint physical custody is in the best interests of the children of divorce. The study review 500 randomly selected files of cases involving children for three years before the change in the law and for five years after the change in the law.

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Social Science Update: What is effect of childhood stress on health across the lifespan?

In 2008, social scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study that looked at the effects of positive stress, tolerable stress, and toxic stress on children. The study looked at 17,000 adults of which almost 2/3 reported one type of stress and more than 20% reported multiple types of stress.

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Social Science Update: Are mediation agreements an appropriate divorce tool in families with a history of intimate partner violence?

In 2012, social scientists did a study to examine mediated agreements in initial divorces, paternity cases, and post-divorce modifications. The study looked at intimate partner violence in the context of these mediated agreements.


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Reflections on Domestic Violence in Custody Disputes

Domestic violence is a significant issue in cases commonly referred to as “high conflict." Scholars estimate that 70-75 % of high conflict cases involve domestic violence.

Where domestic violence is an issue in a custody dispute, it is customary for courts to disqualify an abuser parent as the potential custodial parent. However it has been increasingly recognized that domestic violence is not as clear-cut as originally thought. As such allegations of abuse, especially in the context of separation and divorce, require a careful analysis.

Recently scholars have researched differentiated types of violence in couples disputing custody. Scholars have differentiated between separation/divorce situational violence and battering types of violence. This is area where mental health professionals with expertise in assessing violence risk have assisted the court. They have developed guidelines for custody and parenting time guidelines for domestic violence families.

In cases of situational violence, psychologists have been helpful in teaching the family alternative dispute resolution methods. These professionals offer individual and group anger-management programs. Their services also include advising the court about family interventions that may increase the custody options.

Children raised in families with domestic violence are a special population that deserves special attention. Children who witness parent violence, even in cases of no observable injuries, exhibit adjustment and developmental problems that can have long-term detrimental consequences.