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Domestic Violence & Divorce in Florida

Domestic violence affects all types of families – not just the ones plagued by poverty or a lack of education. Research has found that domestic violence (e.g. spousal abuse and child abuse) is closely linked to a history of domestic violence in the family and substance abuse. So, it affects all types of families, including the highly-educated or extremely wealthy.

Often, abusers were victims of abuse growing up, or they witnessed it as a child, but that does not justify this criminal behavior. If your spouse is abusing you or your children, you may be seriously considering divorce. Since leaving is usually the most dangerous time for victims of domestic violence, you should not do it alone and without the support of a divorce attorney.

Seeking a Civil Injunction

While there is no guarantee that a piece of paper will protect a victim of domestic violence from their abuser, it does offer them legal protections. In this case, we’re talking about an “injunction,” otherwise known as a “restraining order.” Also, if an abuser violates a restraining order, they can be arrested, incarcerated, and prosecuted.

In Florida, domestic violence restraining orders are called injunctions, which are court orders that prohibit abusers from contacting their victims. A petition for an injunction against domestic violence can be filed against a spouse you live with now, or in the past. You can also file it against a former intimate partner who you lived with but never married, or the parent of your children, whether you were married or not.

What are the effects of a domestic violence restraining order?

An injunction can order your abuser to do several things, such as:

  1. Not contact you or your children;
  2. Stay away from your home and work;
  3. Move out of the family home;
  4. Relinquish all of their firearms;
  5. Pay certain household bills;
  6. Complete a batterer’s intervention program; and
  7. Pay child support.

If you are planning on getting a divorce and you are concerned that your abusive spouse will fight for child custody, an injunction may help protect your parental rights and your children’s safety. To learn how to protect your legal rights against an abusive spouse in a divorce, we urge you to contact our Clearwater family law firm today.

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