How A Domestic Violence Injunction Affects Other Court Proceedings In Florida
If you were recently served with paperwork under Florida’s law on domestic violence injunctions, your life has most certainly been turned upside down. After reviewing the court documents, you know that you are prohibited from contacting the accuser and being present where that person resides or frequents. You might also be instructed to refrain from certain conduct or move out of the home that you share with the accuser. Plus, your paperwork includes information on your next court date, where you will have the opportunity to defend the allegations.
Still, what you may not know is that there are additional ramifications when you are the respondent in a domestic violence injunction case. There are consequences you did not expect, so it is essential to retain a Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney to protect your rights. The allegations by your accuser could have significant effects in other types of cases, such as:
A domestic violence order of protection is considered a civil proceeding, since the remedy the petitioner seeks is an order directing you to do or not do something. In other words, your accuser is not raising criminal charges. However, a case involving a domestic violence injunction could:
- Lead to an arrest, such as where law enforcement or a prosecutor decides to pursue charges for assault, battery, or other violent criminal activity; OR
- Result from an arrest, such as where police charged you for domestic violence and your accuser followed up by filing a petition for an order of protection.
Florida is a no-state jurisdiction for purposes of divorce, so your accuser would not need to plead or allege domestic violence as grounds for ending your marriage. In addition, there are specific laws that govern the key issues in a divorce case:
- Marital assets must be divided according to the principles of equitable distribution;
- Determination of alimony is a two-step analysis, where a judge first decides whether it is appropriate and then issues an order on the type, amount, and duration.
When there is evidence of domestic violence, including your accuser’s sworn statement and evidence submitted with the petition, the court could disregard these laws. You might be ordered to pay more as alimony if the court finds that domestic violence caused significant emotional or physical harm.
Child Custody Matters
While decision-making and time-sharing of minor children may be addressed in divorce, domestic violence may also have an impact on child custody proceedings involving unmarried parents. Matters involving child custody and visitation must comply with Florida’s best interests of the child standard, and one provision refers to the presence of domestic violence. You could be denied custody and/or visitation if a judge finds that it is not in your child’s best interests.
Rely on a Broward County Criminal Defense Lawyer for Legal Help
When you realize that a domestic violence injunction can have such extensive implications, you know that retaining skilled legal representation is critical. To learn more about potential defenses and strategies to contest the accuser’s allegations, please contact attorney Kevin J. Kulik. We can set up a consultation at our offices in Fort Lauderdale, FL.