Domestic violence involves the abuse of one partner against the other in a marriage or other
intimate relationship. Not only does this include physical attacks, such
as sexual assault, shoving, hitting, or other forms of battery, it can
also include things like intimidation, stalking, withholding money, and
all types of emotional abuse.
Divorce can be an event that triggers domestic violence or makes it worse. In
fact, the danger of domestic violence is at its highest when the abused
partner attempts to end the relationship. If you are seeking a divorce
from an abusive partner, it is important that you fist find a safe place
to stay while you are taking action. Then, seek legal protection. A family
law attorney can help you create a temporary restraining order while your
divorce case is in progress. The order not only protects you, it also
prohibits the abuser from coming near your child at home, at their school
or daycare, etc. If the abuser violates the order, they can face jail time.
Domestic Violence & Child Custody
Florida family law judges begin all
custody cases with the presumption that both parents should share custody of their
child, unless that arrangement would work against the child’s best
interests. One example of this would be if a family member were convicted
of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, or worse. In that case, the
court would presume that it would be detrimental to give the convicted
parent custody of the child. Even without a conviction, the judge will
still consider any evidence of domestic violence presented to the court,
or any criminal convictions for offenses such as lewd behavior, sexual
abuse or battery, incest, kidnapping, indecent exposure, or physical child abuse.
If the judge still finds it is in the child’s best interests to have
some contact with the abusive parent, they can order supervised visitations,
sometimes at the parent’s expense. There are approved visitation
programs that specifically deal with these sorts of cases. The judge must
be absolutely convinced that the child’s well-being, safety, and
physical, emotional, and mental health are not in danger before allowing
In rare cases, a judge may determine that the child’s relationship
with an abusive parent should be permanently severed.
The judge can terminate parental rights under the following circumstances:
- The parent is a sexual predator
- The parent is a violent career criminal
- The parent has been convicted of first or second degree murder
- The parent has sexually abused or committed aggravated child abuse
- The parent has committed a sexual battery that is a first-degree felony
- The parent has conspired with or hired someone to murder the other parent
or another child
Contact Catherine W. Real, P.A. Today
If you are seeking a divorce in which domestic violence is a factor, contact
Catherine W. Real, P.A. as soon as possible.
Ms. Real has more than 35 years of experience handling all types of divorce and
family law cases in Florida. As a former prosecutor, she has the knowledge
and insight to resolve these types of cases as quickly and as peaceably
To request an
initial consultation with a Tampa domestic violence attorney, please call (813) 966-7217.