Parkland Domestic Violence Lawyer
Broward and Palm Beach County Family Lawyers Helping Domestic Violence Victims
Getting out of an abusive relationship is essential to protecting yourself and the safety of your children. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get immediate legal protection from someone who is violent or is threatening abuse by filing a petition for injunction for protection against domestic violence. For victims of domestic violence in Broward and Palm Beach counties, the Parkland domestic violence lawyers at Williams & Varsegi, LLC, offer compassionate counseling, practical legal advice and effective representation to make sure you and your children are safe and have the support you need.
How Florida Law Defines Domestic Violence
Domestic violence in Florida can include crimes such as assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death when it is committed by a family member or household member. These laws apply to crimes committed by your spouse, former spouse, a person related to you by blood or marriage, someone who is living you or who lived with you as a family in the past, or the other parent of your children, regardless of whether you ever lived together or not.
File a Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence
A domestic violence victim, or a person with reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, can seek a protective order from the court. First, a petition is filed for protection from domestic violence. Second, the court issues an ex parte order granting or denying the petition. This means you do not have to face your abuser in court in order to get a temporary protective order. The other party (known as the respondent) is only notified after the order is put in place. A temporary protective order can be customized to meet your needs. Typically, the order can do any or all of the following:
- Grant you temporary full custody of the children
- Grant you temporary exclusive use and possession of the home
- Order financial support (alimony, child support) on a temporary basis
- Force the respondent into counseling or treatment
- Require the respondent to stay away from you and to not contact you
- Order the respondent to keep away from your home and place of employment
In deciding whether or not to grant an injunction, the court is required to consider a number of factors, including:
- The history between the you and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking and physical abuse
- Any criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence
- Whether the respondent has physically restrained you from leaving the home or calling law enforcement
- Whether the respondent has destroyed your personal property, such as phones, clothing or other items
- If the respondent has used or threatened to use any guns, knives or other weapons
- If the respondent has attempted to harm you or your family members or friends
- Whether the respondent has threatened to take or harm your children
It is important to provide as much detail as possible regarding these factors and the incident in your petition, and to be prepared to present evidence in court to support your claims. Our attorneys can prepare and file the petition on your behalf and serve as staunch advocates for your protection. We are with you every step of the way.
The temporary injunction lasts for 15 days or until a full final hearing can be held. The other party is notified about this hearing and can appear and challenge the order, so it is very important to make sure you have legal representation at this stage if you do not already have a lawyer helping you. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge may dismiss the temporary injunction or grant a final order, which can be made to last for a specified period of time or indefinitely until modified or dissolved by the court. The injunction may address several topics including but not limited to visitation, firearms, child support, counseling and other services such as batterer’s intervention program. Domestic violence injunctions are limited to the situations described above. Florida law also provides other types of injunctions for situations involving other individuals, including:
- Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence
- Injunction for Protection Against Dating Violence
- Injunction for Protection Against Sexual Violence
Immediate Assistance is Available for Domestic Violence in Parkland
If you have been abused or believe that you may be in danger, get yourself to a safe place and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE to get put in touch with shelters and resources in your area. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1. For help getting an order of protection, filing for divorce or seeking custody or support, call Williams & Varsegi, LLC, in Parkland at 954-255-5655. We serve clients throughout Broward and Palm Beach County.