Familial and romantic relationships are often complicated, and it is not unusual for people to get into heated arguments with relatives or intimate partners. There is a vast difference between mere disagreements and acts that constitute harassment or abuse, though, and people who engage in domestic violence may face adverse consequences in family law matters. While domestic violence is a serious concern, some people may falsely accuse an estranged spouse or co-parent of abusive behavior to unjustly gain the upper hand in a divorce or custody case. If you are a victim of domestic violence or have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, it is critical to speak to a lawyer regarding your options. The Miami domestic violence lawyers at Hertz • Sager can help you take the measures necessary to protect your health, safety, and rights. We will work diligently to help you pursue the best legal outcome available.Domestic Violence Under Florida Law
Florida law defines what constitutes domestic violence. Specifically, certain actions taken by one person against a household or family member are considered domestic violence. Family and household members include current and former spouses, people related by marriage or blood, people who share a child, and people who currently live or previously lived together as a family. Acts that are considered domestic violence include battery, assault, sexual assault, stalking, and kidnapping. Any criminal act that causes death or bodily harm to a family or household member is considered domestic violence as well.Protection From Domestic Violence
People concerned about domestic violence can seek an injunction or restraining order by filing a petition with a court. Generally, a court will assess whether the person seeking the injunction has a reasonable belief that he or she is imminently in danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence in determining whether to grant such an order. The petition must also note whether there is a pending matter between the parties, such as a family law case. In determining whether to grant the injunction, the court must take into consideration the victim’s safety and the safety of anyone else whom the alleged abuser may harm, including the victim’s child. A domestic violence attorney can help a Miami resident submit a petition in pursuit of an injunction.Domestic Violence and Family Law Cases
A court that decides to grant a domestic violence injunction may not only prohibit the responding party from engaging in any acts of domestic violence but also award the petitioner exclusive use and possession of any home that the parties share, at least temporarily, and establish a temporary parenting plan, which may include a time-sharing schedule. The court can also order temporary support for the party who filed the petition or the party’s child.
Allegations or a history of domestic violence can greatly impair a person’s right to custody of a child as well. Under Florida law, to determine an appropriate custody arrangement, a court must consider what is in the best interest of the child in question. This involves an evaluation of numerous factors, including whether either party has been charged with or convicted of domestic violence. If this situation arises in your case, a Miami domestic violence attorney can advise you on how it may affect your rights. For example, a court can presume that it would be detrimental to grant parental decision-making and/or timesharing rights to a parent who has been convicted of domestic violence. The parent with the record of domestic violence then bears the burden of overcoming that presumption.Speak to a Trusted Miami Attorney
Threats, abuse, and harassment can devastate families and relationships, but there are steps that people who have been harmed by or unjustly accused of domestic violence can take to maintain their safety and legal rights. If you are contending with a domestic violence issue, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. The Miami attorneys at Hertz • Sager are mindful of the critical and sensitive nature of domestic violence issues. We regularly represent people in family law matters in Miami and throughout Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Monroe, Broward, and Collier Counties. You can contact us to set up a consultation via our form online or by calling 305.444.3323 if you want to speak with a domestic violence lawyer in the Miami area.