A victim of domestic violence calls the police. That starts a criminal case for assault…A victim of domestic violence calls the police. That starts a criminal case for assault and she can get a temporary order of protection (OP) from Criminal Court while that case is pending. She goes to Family Court for custody and child support and also files for an order of protection in Family Court (because the police told her to or because she doesn’t even know she has one from Criminal Court). She gets an immediate temporary order of protection from Family Court the day she files, and the child gets their own lawyer assigned for the custody case. The father files his own case for visitation and custody. The custody/visitation case takes at least a year and up to 3 years if an expert evaluator or a trial is needed.
In order to get divorced the victim and her husband have to go to Supreme Court. Depending on whether there are assets to divide which could take a year – assuming the other issues (child support and custody/visitation and the order of protection) were resolved in Family Court. Meanwhile the criminal case is ongoing but generally he might plead out and that case often ends in a few months.
OR the defendant files for divorce in the middle of the other actions to try to have the whole matter heard before a different judge in Supreme court (forum shopping) and they’re in two courts at once.
Meanwhile, the landlord is trying to evict her and the children because her husband is not paying the rent or because the police were called to the house too many times.