Immigration & Family Law Attorneys - Violence Against Women Act

Violence Against Women Act Overview

When an immigrant is in an abusive relationship and the abuser is a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident, there are laws available to protect these victims. In 1994, the United States Congress passed a landmark law called Violence Against Women Act or VAWA. VAWA has special provisions to protect immigrant victims (women and men) of domestic abuse. 

Examples of domestic abuse can include domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, social isolation (preventing one from talking to or visiting with family and friends or prohibiting one from going to work, school or learning English), economic control (controlling all access to money, credit cards and bank accounts), emotional abuse (name calling and putting one down) and other cruel conditions. 

VAWA allows an abused victim of good moral character, who is married (bona fide and in good faith) to an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse (a green card holder), to self-petition (no spouse or family member sponsor is needed) to get their lawful permanent residency (or green card) in the United States independently of their abusive U.S. citizen spouse. The petitions can be valid for both the abused spouse and any children.

Immigrants are often vulnerable to becoming victims of domestic abuse and violence. They are also often reluctant to come forward for fear of their safety, fear of retaliation, fear of losing their children or even the fear of being deported. In order to protect your rights, it is strongly advised that you seek the services of an experienced family and immigration lawyer.

The Minerley Fein Difference

We understand that immigration and family law matters can be emotional, financially draining and legally complex. We treat our clients with the respect, have compassion for their circumstance and understand the importance of confidentiality. Our goal is to protect your legal rights and help you break free from the cycle of abuse and help you obtain legal status and ultimately citizenship in the United States.

Our family law attorneys will work closely with you through every step of the VAWA process and the divorce process, advising you of your best options. Abuse victims need to file their VAWA petitions in a timely manner. We strongly recommend that you do not file for divorce without first looking into any immigration consequences and to determine whether children can be included.

Minerley Fein, P.A. can assist in VAWA petitions, family law, divorce, alimony, custody, and immigration matters in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Coral Springs, Palm Beach County and Broward County.

If you are in need of an attorney to discuss a VAWA petition, a divorce or other family law matters, please contact us at 561.362.6699 or via email here. Learn more about attorney Gail Hamaty-Bird, or about our other areas of practice.