In the state of Florida it is possible to get protection against domestic violence through a restraining order or an injunction. An injunction is a legal court order issued by the judge to put an end to harm against an individual committed by another. In cases of divorce, an injunction can protect a spouse who is the victim of domestic violence.
There are a few types of injunctions available in Florida to protect individuals from harm:
- Repeat violence injunctions
- Sexual violence injunctions
- Dating violence injunctions
- Domestic violence injunctions
Repeat violence injunctions are issued in cases where there have been at least two incidents of violence or stalking. Sexual violence injunctions are for when certain behavior that would constitute criminal sexual acts are committed, even if criminal charges are not filed. Dating violence injunctions seek to protect those who are in a continuing romantic relationship from violence. For married couples or persons living together domestic violence injunctions are granted where there is reasonable cause to believe the petitioning spouse or person is in danger of the other spouse or person.
What counts as domestic violence?
Domestic violence is often defined as abuse against a person who is living in one’s household. It describes abuse toward members of one’s own family who are related by blood or marriage. A household member can also describe cohabitating couples or couples who share a child. Actions such as destroying the property of a spouse, assault, threats, kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual assault, and stalking are all forms of domestic violence.
Who is eligible for a domestic violence injunction?
According to Florida Statute 741.30(01), a household member can petition for a domestic violence injunction if she or he is the victim of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe she or he is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence.
Filing a petition for a domestic violence injunction
You can file for a domestic violence injunction from the circuit court where you live or where the violence occurred. There are no filing fees to complete a petition for a domestic violence injunction, and you do not need a lawyer; HOWEVER, it is highly recommended to seek the aid of a family law attorney, especially if your abuser has one. If you believe you are in imminent danger, you can ask for an emergency order or ex parte order which will give you immediate protection until the hearing date.
How will an injunction affect child custody?
Parenting time can be modified with the presence of an injunction. If the abuser or “respondent” (the person responding to the petition for injunction) engages in violent behavior this will be considered by the courts. Orders for parenting time arrangements can be altered or completely terminated upon the filing of a domestic violence petition.
For more information, speak with an experienced divorce attorney in Aventura. Stephen H. Butter has proudly served Miami-Dade and Broward County for over 50 years practicing marital litigation. Give him a call for a free initial consultation at (305) 333-7159.