WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Preparing for Court

Court System Basics

Why does WomensLaw.org have a Preparing for Court – By Yourself section?

A high percentage of domestic violence survivors face the court system on their own. The court process can be very challenging, even for those who have experience in court. Some survivors choose not to seek help from the court at all because the court process intimidates them, they don’t understand the laws, or they fear the unknown. However, not going to court may mean missing out on life-changing protections and other outcomes that could improve a survivor’s situation. We designed this section to help people who have no court experience, or very little experience with the court system, navigate what can be a very complicated process. Knowledge is power, and when you know what to expect and have some tools you can use when involved in litigation with an abusive partner, you could have a better chance of getting a favorable outcome.

The laws of each state can vary greatly in some ways and might be very similar in other ways. We tried to make this section as general as possible so that a person in any state or territory might benefit from it. If you still have questions about your case after reading this section, we provide legal information and referrals on our Email Hotline.