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Protective Order for Domestic Violence

In divorce cases involving domestic violence, victims of domestic violence may seek injunctions for protection (also referred to as restraining orders, protective orders, or protection orders) against the alleged offenders.

The Domestic Violence Department of the Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller's Office assists victims (referred to in injunctions as the petitioners) in filing for injunctions for protection against domestic violence against the alleged offenders (referred to in injunctions as the respondents).

When a court issues an order for protection, the respondent is expected to comply with numerous restrictions and requirements ordered by the court. Any violation of an injunction for protection is a criminal offense that not only carries possible fines and imprisonment, but can also impact important court decisions in such matters as child custody.

Lawyer for Domestic Violence Protective Orders in West Palm Beach, FL

Are you hoping to obtain a restraining order against your spouse because of an act of domestic violence? Make sure that you contact Quality Family Law for skilled legal representation.

Our divorce attorneys in West Palm Beach represent clients in communities all over Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County, such as Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, Greenacres, Lake Worth, and many others. You can have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (561) 557-8686 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

Overview of Restraining Orders for Domestic Violence in Palm Beach County

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Who Can Obtain Protective Orders for Domestic Violence in Florida

Domestic violence is defined under Florida Statute § 741.28(2) as "any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member."

Florida Statute § 741.28(3) lists family or household members as including "spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married.

With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit."

Under Florida Statute § 741.30(6)(b), a court must consider and evaluate all relevant factors alleged in a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence in determining whether a petitioner has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. Factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse;
  • Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner;
  • Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children;
  • Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet;
  • Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives;
  • Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement;
  • Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence;
  • The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction;
  • Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communications equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner; and
  • Whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

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West Palm Beach Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence Process

The injunction for protection process begins with the victim filing a petition in his or her local courthouse. The court will review all information in the petition and—when if finds that the petitioner is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence—issues an ex parte order of protection for the petitioner.

When the court issues an ex parte order—which is usually valid for no longer than 15 days—it will also set the date for a return hearing to decide whether to issue a final injunction for protection. The respondent is not present at the initial hearing, but is served notice of the final hearing and has the same opportunity as the petitioner to present evidence and witnesses at the final hearing.

If the court issues a final injunction for protection, it does not necessarily have to contain a specified expiration date. If a respondent violates any of the terms established in the injunction, he or she can face criminal charges.

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Protective Order for Domestic Violence Resources in Florida

Florida Statute § 741.30 | Domestic violence; injunction; powers and duties of court and clerk; petition; notice and hearing; temporary injunction; issuance of injunction; statewide verification system; enforcement; public records exemption. — View the full text of the state laws governing injunctions for protection against domestic violence. The statute contains the form that a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence should be in. State law relating to injunctions to protect a child from abuse or domestic violence can be found under Florida Statute § 39.504.

Florida's Domestic Violence Benchbook | Florida Courts — The Office of the State Courts Administrator (OSCA), Office of Court Improvement (OCI), developed Florida’s domestic violence benchbook to address the highly litigated legal issues in domestic violence cases. Use this handbook to learn more about domestic violence injunction case process and the issues associated with each stage, protocol for domestic violence injunction hearings, and jurisdiction of domestic violence courts. You can also read about a comparison of injunctions under Chapter 39 and Chapter 741 of the Florida Statutes.

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Quality Family Law | West Palm Beach Protective Order for Domestic Violence Attorney

If you are seeking a restraining order for protection against domestic violence in South Florida, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel. Quality Family Law helps individuals in Delray Beach, Jupiter, Wellington, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and many surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County.

Our West Palm Beach divorce lawyers will assist you in completing your petition and represent you at all hearings to present the best possible case for the issuance of an injunction for protection. Call (561) 557-8686 or submit an online form to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.

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