In Florida, domestic violence is taken very seriously by both the criminal courts as well as the civil courts. In the context of family law, a victim of domestic abuse can petition the court to create a legal document that requires the person perpetrating the domestic violence to stay away from the victim. If you have been the victim of domestic abuse and wish to pursue remedies in family court, contact Sandy T. Fox, an experienced Broward County family law attorney and Florida Bar Board certified specialist in Marital & Family Law.What Constitutes an Act of Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence in Florida has two basic elements. There must be some act—whether an overt act or merely a threat—and that act must be committed against a person with whom the actor has a familial relationship.
Many acts, even if they are not necessarily violent in nature, can be considered acts of domestic violence. For example, the State of Florida considers the following to be acts of domestic violence:
- Aggravated battery
- Aggravated assault;
- Sexual battery;
- Sexual assault;
- Aggravated stalking;
- False imprisonment;
- Kidnapping; or
- Any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death.
In order for an act to be domestic violence, the victim must have some family-like relationship with the person engaging in the domestic violence. In Florida, the following relationships are covered under the domestic violence statute:
- Spouses (and former spouses);
- People related by blood;
- People living together as family (or whohave done so in the past); and
- People who have a child together (regardless of whether they were ever married).
Restraining orders are legally binding documents that require one party to stay a certain distance away from the party applying for the restraining order. Victims of domestic violence, or those in fear of imminent domestic violence, can petition the court for a restraining order. Restraining orders can give victims of domestic violence the peace of mind that the force of the law is behind them and their safety.
In family court, the party seeking a restraining order must generally convince a judge that domestic violence has occurred, or that it is likely to occur, before the judge will issue a permanent restraining order against a party. However, temporary restraining orders may be granted without a hearing based solely on a party’s sworn pleadings, and are therefore easier to obtain. However, temporary restraining orders last only 15 days before they must be extended.Are You in Need of a Restraining Order?
If you feel that you are in need of a restraining order, you should immediately contact experienced South Florida family law lawyer Sandy T. Fox to discuss the facts of your case and begin the application process. The sooner you contact Mr. Fox, the sooner he can work on seeking a temporary restraining order if that is the right step for you. Mr. Fox has the knowledge, dedication, and tenacity to quickly and effectively get your petition filed. Additionally, if you need other family-law related services, Mr. Fox is Florida Bar Board certified as an expert in Family and Marital Law, and has experience in all family law matters. Contact the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A., for a confidential consultation at 800.596.0579 or contact the firm online.