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Maybe you know you need a divorce. You and your spouse fight constantly, and it has made you and your children miserable. Perhaps you have experienced domestic violence and need not only a divorce but an order of protection.

If there is a language barrier because Spanish is your first language, going to court can seem terrifying. Especially if your ex has a stronger command over the English language than you do, you may worry about getting fair access and treatment in the courts. You might worry that your spouse will lie about you or manipulate the courts without your knowledge. You might also feel overwhelmed about completing paperwork in another language.

It’s important that you understand that your language does not affect your right to family law services. Those in New York who must go through the court system have the right to request translation services.

The courts will provide auditory and even sign translation services

Going to court proceedings with a judge who speaks English doesn’t mean you won’t be able to communicate. You can request that the court provide you with a Spanish-language translator. They will do this at no cost to you.

This translator can then help you convey your side of the situation to the courts and ensure that you understand everything that happens in the courtroom. You have the right to receive translated paperwork in some cases, such as when you need an order of protection. The courts can even provide a sign language translator for those with auditory issues as well as a language barrier.

Sometimes, actions speak louder than words

It can be difficult to push yourself forward with what will be a frightening transition. Divorce, especially a litigated divorce from an abusive spouse, can mean a lot of work before you achieve your goal. You don’t need to be able to advocate for yourself in English in the court.

You only have to be brave enough to take action and to ask for the support that will enable you to live a healthier and better life. Getting the right help early on can make divorce easier and help you overcome the impact of any language barrier on your rights.