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 these visitations.
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 as possible.
To request an initial consultation with a Tampa domestic violence attorney, please call .