One of the greatest needs of family violence victims is access to free legal representation. The MSCFV Legal Program is designed to provide victims of domestic violence legal assistance throughout their journey from crisis to self-sufficiency. MSCFV legal services include:

Advocacy & Accompaniment

MSCFV’s Legal Advocates provide information and explain options available to victims of domestic violence. If a victim decides to pursue any of their legal options, an advocate can assist with completing applications, court preparation and support throughout the proceedings.

Direct Representation

Advocates make referrals for Direct Representation on behalf of their clients. A panel Attorney provides representation in Protective Order hearings and divorce and custody cases.

MSCFV helps victims with cases related to:

  • Protective Orders (temporary and final)
  • Custody
  • Divorce
  • Criminal Cases against Abuser
  • Child Support
  • Immigration
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Bankruptcy
  • Expungement
  • More

The legal services provided by MSCFV achieve several important outcomes for family violence victims. During the 2020 fiscal year, a total of 249 legal cases were closed or resolved, with the most common outcome for legal clients was obtaining protection via a final protective order. Obtaining or maintaining custody is also a common outcome.

Benefits Achieved in Legal Cases for MSCFV Clients

Attorney representation in protective order hearings can often be critical for victims to receive the protection they need. In fiscal year 2020, 68% of victims with MSCFV representation at their FPO hearings had their protective orders granted. This percentage is remarkably higher than the 47% of final protective orders granted statewide.

Outcomes for Final Protective Order Hearings with MSCFV Legal Representation