Picking Up the Pieces

Andrea* started to pick up the pieces of her life with her children after surviving her husband’s brutal attacks and when he was sent to prison. But, her family’s comfort was not long lasting when he was released and began stalking her. The children were frightened and traumatized again. With the help of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law and its supporters, Andrea secured full custody of her children and orders protecting them from contact with their father.

Before Andrea came to the Center, she got a restraining order. Her husband had slammed her head against a wall and threw her down by her hair. The children, who were present, had screamed and covered their ears. Respite came to all when he was imprisoned. Upon release, he petitioned the court to visit with their children. The judge allowed him to see the children and said Andrea should monitor the visits from afar. Without a lawyer, Andrea did not know how to object.

Scared and anxious, Andrea came to the Center for protection for her family. With help from the Center and Sanjay Paul, her pro bono attorney, she persuaded the judge to give her full custody of the children. Based on the evidence she presented and her husband’s “menacing” demeanor in court, the judge issued a no visitation order for the father.

With a huge smile and a big hug, Andrea thanked Sanjay and said: “There was no way I could’ve done it without you and the Center supporting me all the way.”

*Name and photo changed to protect client’s privacy.