Domestic Violence

The McCarthy Fingar Team

Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects many individuals throughout the State of New York. Indeed, the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, created in New York in 1992, is the country’s only executive level state agency dedicated to the issue of domestic violence. Our Matrimonial & Family Law attorneys understand the sensitive nature of these types of cases and are dedicated to protecting your rights and gaining your trust, often through obtaining an order of protection. Your safety is important to us and we want to help you understand the steps necessary to protect you from your abuser. On this page, we provide answers to several frequently asked questions on Domestic Violence.

How can I get away from my abuser and protect myself from future abuse?

Answer: One possible option is to secure an order of protection, which is very similar to a restraining order. We can help you do this.

Who can I get an order of protection against?


  • a current or former spouse;
  • the parent of your child;
  • another family member that you are related to by blood or marriage; or
  • someone with whom you have or have had in the past an “intimate relationship.” (An “intimate relationship” does not necessarily mean a sexual relationship, but it must be more than a casual or social relationship. Based upon the facts, the court will decide whether the relationship is intimate.)

What kinds of things are included in an order of protection?

Answer: Among other things, the judge can order the respondent or defendant:

  • not to assault, menace, or harass you or commit crimes of reckless endangerment or disorderly conduct towards you;
  • to be removed by the police from where you are living;
  • to stay away from you, your residence, your job, and other places; and/or
  • not to contact you via telephone, mail or e-mail.

What court handles domestic violence matters?

Answer: Domestic violence matters can be brought in the Family Court, local Criminal Courts and the Supreme Court. Domestic Violence Parts in the courts have been established in New York to give a single judge the authority to handle, family, criminal and matrimonial matters.

The McCarthy Fingar Approach in Domestic Violence Matters

Domestic violence may play a role in the divorce process. Indeed, domestic violence must be considered in awarding custody. Additionally, domestic violence may affect the distribution of assets if the court determines there has been “egregious” fault. If there is a domestic violence allegation, the lawyers in our Matrimonial & Family Law group will bring their many years of experience to develop a strategy on how the matter should go forward.

Contact Us

If you think you may require the assistance of McCarthy Fingar’s Matrimonial & Family Law group, please contact Kristen Mackay Pennessi by email ( or by phone (914-385-1033).

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