Boca Raton Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence in family law is fraught with complexity. Being threatened with violence or actually abused is a crisis situation, and emergency action has to be taken. For others, being accused of harming or threatening another when that’s not what you intended can be a frightening or bewildering experience with serious consequences at stake. While domestic crimes are handled by the criminal courts, civil actions can greatly impact the status and relationship between an individual and his or her family. From their offices In Boca Raton and Plantation, the Boca Raton domestic violence lawyers at Wise Lieberman, PLLC provide thoughtful advice and skilled representation in the handling of domestic violence situations and allegations in Palm Beach and Broward counties.
What is domestic violence in Florida?
Florida law defines domestic violence as an assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense that causes physical injury or death, when it is committed on a member of the household or other family member. Spouses, ex-spouses, all people who are related to each by blood or marriage, and anyone who lives together as a family now or did so in the past, are all covered under Florida domestic violence law. The law also includes a couple who have a child together, regardless of whether they were ever married, lived together or dated. Domestic violence is not itself a crime, but the underlying offense, such as assault, battery, stalking or kidnapping, can range from a misdemeanor to a serious felony offense.
A victim of domestic violence can file for a Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence from the court. This injunction is also known as a restraining order. Initially, a victim can obtain a temporary restraining order without the subject of the order being told in advance or having an opportunity to challenge the order. However, the court will hold a hearing before implementing any final order, and the subject has a right to appear at that hearing and be represented by an attorney and challenge whether a restraining order is proper. Wise Lieberman attorneys can represent individuals in domestic violence injunction petition hearings, providing sound advice and effective advocacy.
Civil restraining orders can last for as long as the judge deems proper. The judge also has wide discretion in deciding what to include in the restraining order. Typically, a restraining order might include the following:
- Order the subject to have no contact with the victim
- Oder the subject to stay away from the subject’s home or place of work
- Order the subject to move out of a shared home
- Grant temporary custody of the children to the victim
- Require the subject to attend counseling
The court is required to consider a number of factors in deciding whether to grant the petition and how to fashion the order. The party preparing the petition should address these factors in detail in the petition and back them up with evidence, and the other party should be prepared to present evidence in a hearing regarding these factors:
- The relationship between the parties and their history together
- If the alleged abuser has ever used any weapons or threatened to use them
- If the alleged abuser has hurt or killed a family pet
- If the safety of children in the home is threatened in any way
- If the alleged abuser has ever physically kept the petitioner from leaving the house or calling the police
- Any other relevant factors
Domestic Violence Charges can Impact a Divorce in Florida
When domestic violence was an issue during the marriage or the period surrounding the divorce, it can have an impact on the way Florida courts rule on certain matters. For instance, the presence of domestic violence is a factor in creating or approving a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule that is in the child’s best interests in child custody matters. The skilled and knowledgeable divorce lawyers at Wise Lieberman, PLLC can ably defend your interests in a divorce or child custody dispute where domestic violence charges may come into play.
Let Our Boca Raton Domestic Violence Lawyers Help You
If you need help seeking or challenging a restraining order or dealing with domestic violence allegations in your Florida divorce, contact Wise Lieberman, PLLC for a confidential consultation at our offices in Boca Raton and Plantation.