Mission Statement

The mission of the Dallas DVLHC is to provide legal services to victims of domestic violence in need of quality representation in the Dallas County civil justice system.

Tina was married to Daniel for years and had several children with him. He was from a wealthy and influential background and he was violent throughout their marriage. Tina was afraid that he would kill her. She filed charges against him for assaulting her. She applied for and was awarded relocation money through Crime Victims’ Compensation.

Using the relocation funds, she and her children left Texas. There she obtained an order of protection against Daniel, but he tracked her down. He held her and her children against their will, and was arrested for violating the order of protection and other charges. She fled to another state where he found her yet again.

Because Tina wanted to obtain a custody order to fully establish her legal rights and because Daniel owed her child support, she returned to Texas. She filed for divorce and sole custody of the children on her own. The temporary orders mandated him to have supervised visitation, and the supervisor was going to be one of Tina’s family members.

Shortly thereafter, Daniel started harassing her on a daily basis causing her to fear for her safety. Tina knew that he would use the children as a tactic. He threatened to kill her and take the children if she pursued the divorce. Due to the continued threats of violence, Tina fled to a shelter. The shelter had an attorney who understood what impact Daniel’s violence and abuse had on her and her children. Because she was a shelter resident, she qualified for the attorney’s services. This attorney was working on asking the court that Tina’s husband have his supervised visits at a supervised visitation center instead of with the family member to increase the safety surrounding these visits.

Although Tina was at domestic violence shelter, Daniel continued to harass her at her job and by calling her cell phone constantly. Tina left the shelter because she believed that she and her children would have less disruption in their lives if she lived with a family member.

By leaving the shelter, Tina lost the services of the attorney at the shelter. With her job as an office manager, her income was too high to qualify for an attorney from NorthWest Legal Aid. On the other hand, her salary from her job only allowed her to live paycheck to paycheck and did not allow her enough money to pay for a retainer to hire a competent attorney. The divorce case filed by Tina was still on file, but she didn’t know how to obtain the necessary orders for supervised visitation and child support.

Daniel’s harassment and threats continued. Tina was not handling her anxiety from the threats well. At that point, Child Protective Services [CPS] became involved with the children. The children were removed from Tina’s home and placed with a member from Tina’s family. Tina did not want this to be the permanent placement for her children. She worked with CPS to find help in handling her anxiety, finding a new job, and a new apartment. Because of the CPS proceedings, both Tina and Daniel were appointed attorneys.

Tina’s attorney had a huge caseload. He did not seem to be familiar with abusers’ tactics and manipulations. He did not grasp the significance of the threats and harassment that Daniel had and continued to direct toward to Tina. Tina’s attorney agreed to mediation with Daniel and his attorney. During the mediation, Daniel was charming and proposed several ‘deals’ concerning custody. None of these ‘deals’ did Daniel ever carry out.

Tina’s children remained under CPS supervision for several years. The divorce proceeding is still pending. Tina and her children are still at risk.

With Dallas DVLHC, Tina will have the opportunity to hire an attorney who is knowledgeable about family law and family violence including the tactics used by abusers in and out of the court room. Tina will be able to afford this qualified attorney because our services will be on a sliding fee basis, and her income will determine how much she pays – not whether she will receive representation.

Please join us in helping Tina and others like her by clicking on the Donate Today button to the right.