Many instances of domestic violence, unfortunately, occur within marriages. When a victim of domestic violence decides to get out of the marriage, many times the victim will request a restraining order, known as a domestic violence injunction in Florida.
When the marriage involves children, things can get further complicated still, especially if the spouse who committed domestic abuse has been granted visitation rights with the kids. In Florida, it’s important to know how a domestic violence injunction can affect one’s visitation rights.
What Is a Domestic Violence Injunction?
In Florida, there is a legal document known as an injunction that can be awarded to a victim of domestic violence. A Florida court will issue the injunction in order to protect the victim of the domestic violence from the abuser.
The category of “domestic violence” encompasses a variety of types of physical assault or battery that causes physical harm or even death to the abuser’s spouse, romantic partner or another member that lives in the same household.
What Is the Purpose of a Domestic Violence Injunction?
When an abused person obtains an injunction against the abuser, there are several purposes for it. They include the following:
To stop the physical violence or harassment from the abuser
To prevent possible abuse from occurring or reoccurring
To force the abuser to leave the premises they share
To prevent the abuser from having contact with the victim at their home, workplace or school
To force the abuser to attend counseling
Domestic Violence Injunctions and Child Visitation
In addition to keeping the perpetrator of domestic violence away from the individual they were abusing, a domestic violence injunction can also have additional effects. One of the most notable is child visitation. When the two parties share a child, this type of court order can dramatically change any prior visitation orders that were settled by the family court.
A single incident of domestic violence may not have an effect on a parent’s visitation with their child if that incident occurred within the past five years. However, if the abuse was ongoing, the visitation rights of the person against whom the injunction was awarded can be affected in the following ways:
If the individual had visitation rights before the domestic violence, they may be ordered to have supervised visitation when abuse was against the child or if the child could be in danger of being abused or impacted by the abuse. A third party will be there when the parent has visitation with the child.
This visitation is generally short and either long-term or temporary and cannot be changed or ended unless a judge approves it. Supervised visitation is only removed if the individual can prove they are not a threat to the child.
Termination of Parental Rights:
Although the termination of parental rights is typically considered a last resort option, a judge can decide it is in the best interests of the child if abuse was ongoing and continued contact between the child and the abusive parent could harm the child in the long run. When a judge makes the decision to terminate parental rights, it is permanent.
Parental rights can be terminated if the abuser has constantly abused the child in any way, committed a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily harm to the child, their sibling or to the other parent, murdered or attempted to murder the child, a sibling or the other parent.
If you are in a situation in Florida in which there is a domestic violence injunction in place and children are involved, you need a compassionate skilled family law attorney on your side who will look out for the safety of your family. A child custody attorney from Advocate Law Firm, P.A. can advise you on how to proceed in your case while putting your family’s best interests above all else.
Your family law attorney will ensure that your rights are protected. Contact Advocate Law Firm, P.A. at your earliest convenience to discuss your case with a child custody attorney.