When violence enters the home, you must act. Witnessing violence between parents is proven to be harmful to children and the intensity of domestic violence often escalates over time.
Call a passionate family attorney if your partner has been emotionally or physically abusive. A Coconut Grove domestic violence lawyer can help you get an injunction to protect your family. If you decide to pursue a divorce, they can make sure that you and your children remain safe.
How the Law Defines Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is the label for a group of crimes that involve threatening or committing physical violence against someone with whom the assailant has or had a close relationship. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and other crimes could be domestic violence.
The victim of a domestic violence crime must have a current or past relationship with the assailant. The victim might be:
- A spouse or former spouse;
- Someone who lived with the assailant in an intimate relationship but was not married to them;
- Someone related to the assailant by blood or marriage;
- Someone who shares a child with the assailant.
The law takes domestic violence seriously and victims must do so as well. Although it could be hard to act when an abuser has most of the money or power in a relationship, the law provides ways for a domestic violence victim to achieve safety. A Coconut Grove household abuse lawyer can assist someone during this difficult situation.
Injunctions of Protection
When a person experiences domestic violence or believes they are in danger of it, Florida Statutes § 741.30 allows them to ask a court to prevent the violent partner from contacting them. The court could grant the victim an injunction of protection.
Process for Getting an Injunction of Protection
A person (known as the petitioner) applies for an injunction by filing a petition with the court describing why they need protection. The person they are seeking protection from is called the respondent. When the petitioner files the request for protection, the court will schedule a hearing on the petition within a short time, usually about two weeks.
If the petitioner believes they are in immediate danger, the court could issue an injunction of protection that day. The injunction will be in effect from the time it is issued until the respondent can appear for a hearing. After the hearing, the Judge might extend the injunction, modify it, or vacate it. A Coconut Grove domestic violence attorney can represent a petitioner at the hearing and ensure the Judge understands the danger the respondent poses.
Effect of an Injunction
An injunction of protection requires the respondent to leave their home if they share it with the petitioner. They may not contact the petitioner through telephone, text, email, or third parties, and they must avoid coming within 500 feet of the petitioner’s home or workplace and within 100 feet of the petitioner’s vehicle. If the offender needs to pick up belongings or visit the children, they must arrange it through an attorney.
If the offending partner violates the injunction of protection, they can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor and might serve as long as one year in jail.
When the Couple Has Children
If the petitioner and respondent have minor children together, the injunction will impose a parenting plan or modify a parenting plan already in place. If the Judge believes the respondent is dangerous, the new parenting plan might award the petitioner 100 percent of the parenting time. If the respondent gets parenting time, the court could require another responsible adult to supervise.
If the parents are going through a divorce or separation, the injunction could prevent the respondent from sharing custody or decision-making with the petitioner. The law presumes that allowing someone with a history of domestic violence to share parenting time or decision-making is against the children’s best interests.
Turn to a Coconut Grove Domestic Violence Attorney if You Need Assistance
If the situation in your household has turned threatening, abusive, or violent, the best thing you can do for your children is to take action to stop it. An injunction of protection will keep you all safe from the abuser and give you time to plan alternatives.