Domestic Violence

There are several domestic violence statutes in Florida. Domestic violence generally comes into play between a husband and wife, Unfortunately, but frequently, you see a domestic violence case pending with a divorce case. Florida statute 741 covers acts of domestic violence between family or household members.

Family or household members are defined as spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently living together as if a family or who have lived together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child together regardless of whether or not they've been married or lived together.

Unlike a divorce case, there is no residency requirement in order to file an action for protection against domestic assault. Additionally you have your choice of options as to where you would like to file. You can file it in Palm Beach County if that is the county where you live, in the county where the other party lives or in the county where the acts of domestic violence took place.

If you need help, contact me, Alan R. Burton, a Boca Raton domestic violence lawyer with over 35 years of experience handling sensitive matters in a discreet and productive way. I offer a free initial consultation to learn about your situation and advise how I may be able to help.

Domestic Abuse Legal Requirements for an Action of Protection

In addition to meeting one of the relationship requirements as noted above, you also have to be either a victim of domestic violence or in imminent danger of becoming a victim. Domestic violence is not limited to being physically assaulted. Domestic violence includes sexual assaults, sexual battery, stalking, cyberstalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death to one family or household member by another family or household member.

In determining whether you, as the petitioner, are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court will consider the following circumstances in making this determination:

The history between you and the respondent, includes a history of threats of harassment, stalking and physical abuse.

  • If the respondent has attempted to harm you, as a petitioner, or family members or individuals closely associated with you.
  • Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap or harm your child or children.
  • Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use against you, any weapons such as guns and knives.
  • Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
  • Whether the respondent has physically restrained you from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
  • Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence.
  • The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously, including from another jurisdiction.
  • Whether the respondent has destroyed any personal property, including but not limited to, telephones or other equipment in the home.
  • Whether the respondent has engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads you to have reasonable cause to believe that you are in imminent danger.

So what do you do if you feel that you need protection under this statute? The first thing you want to do is go to the courthouse that is closest to you. Each courthouse has its own domestic violence unit. Stop at the information desk in the lobby and ask for assistance in locating the domestic violence unit. I can help you with this and all of the following steps to protect yourself if you are the victim of domestic abuse and help you understand how this will factor into your divorce.

Contact Alan Robert Burton, Attorney at Law for Qualified Help

Call or email my office to schedule your free initial consultation. Call 954-229-1660 or my cell at 954-295-9222. I maintain flexible office hours to accommodate your schedule and to discuss your family law issues.