The family law attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville urge those who are experiencing domestic violence to seek help immediately. This may be in the form of leaving an abusive relationship or seeking an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
So what exactly does this entail?
First, a brief explanation of what an injunction (sometimes called a restraining order) is: it is a document from the court that orders an abuser to immediately stop harassing you, by requiring that the abuser stop abusing you (physically or emotionally), contacting you or coming near you. An injunction may also require an abusive spouse to leave your home and in some cases, pay temporary child support.
If you believe that you are the victim of domestic violence or believe that you are in immediate danger of becoming a victim, you may file for an injunction against the abuser in Florida. Domestic violence, as defined by Florida law, covers a wide swath including assault, stalking, kidnapping, and sexual assault among other offenses.
You can petition for an injunction whether or not you’ve been physically battered. A judge will determine if you are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence when considering whether an injunction will be issued. If he or she believes that you are in immediate and present danger of domestic violence a temporary (ex parte) injunction will be issued.
Since a judge can issue a temporary injunction based on your petition alone, it is important that you take the time and effort to thoroughly fill out the petition. A temporary injunction will stay in effect for a maximum of 15 days. During that time, a full hearing will be held to determine whether a final injunction will be issued. A final injunction lasts longer than 15 days and may have a set period of time (say, one year) or it may not have an expiration date at all. If no expiration date is set, then you can file in court to modify the order.
You can file for an injunction in the circuit where you live and there are no Florida residency time requirements you have to consider when seeking an injunction. If your injunction is about to expire, you can ask the court for an extension.
The process of petitioning for an injunction and the court hearings can be confusing — especially given that the emotional circumstances involved. You can file for an injunction on your own, but Farah & Farah suggests that you hire an experienced family law attorney to help you file the petition and to be by your side during subsequent court hearings.
If you believe you are seeking an injunction for protection against domestic violence, don’t hesitate to contact Farah & Farah online or call us directly at (800) 533-3555.