4 Things to Know About Domestic Violence Allegations in a Florida Divorce
Domestic violence is never OK in any context, but the issue seems to enter the picture in divorce proceedings when the stakes are high. Unfortunately, allegations can be misleading, exaggerated, or even downright false if one party seeks to gain an advantage in child custody or issues related to exclusive use of the marital home.. If you were accused of misconduct under Florida’s statute on domestic violence and injunctions, your situation might seem like it is spiraling out of control and affecting your relationship with children.
Though you may be feeling frustrated, angry, and without hope, it is important to address the allegations in an appropriate, responsible manner. Your first priority should be discussing your circumstances with a Florida domestic violence injunctions lawyer, but keep in mind the following four points about accusations in divorce proceedings.
- An accuser can get an order of protection without notifying you. State law allows for an ex parte proceeding to obtain an injunctive order for domestic violence, which means there is no requirement to provide you with advance notice. The point of the statute is to protect the accuser from violence between the time of filing a petition and getting into court, which is essential when the individual is in danger. However, it may impact your rights because the order limits your freedoms before you get a chance to defend yourself.
- Strict compliance with the protective order is critical. It may seem unfair to receive a domestic violence injunction under the ex parte process described above, but you still need to precisely follow the language to the letter. The paperwork will include different acts that you must immediately cease, such as:
- Not contacting the accuser directly or indirectly – DO NOT SEND MESSAGES THROUGH A THIRD PERSON;
- Staying away from the person’s work, school, or other locations;
- Refraining from communicating with your children; and,
- Other details that may be relevant in your case.
Failure to comply with the order is a crime, so there can be harsh penalties for not following it including jail.. There may also be implications for child custody and visitation in your divorce case.
- You might need to move. Note that the order of protection may require you to stay a certain minimum distance away from your accuser, so you could need to relocate – even if just temporarily. In most cases, you will be allowed to enter your residence to gather personal belongings.
- You will get an opportunity to defend your interests. You may not have received notice of the initial proceeding, but you will get your day in court. The order will include a date to appear, and you must absolutely attend. During this hearing, you will have the chance to present your side of the story and provide evidence that contradicts the accuser’s allegations.
Contact a Dade City, FL Domestic Violence Injunctions Attorney Right Away
These four points should help you understand what you are facing if you were accused of domestic violence in connection with divorce proceedings, but there are so many other critical issues that affect your case. For legal assistance, please contact the Dade City domestic violence injunctions lawyers at The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane to set up a consultation. You can reach our office by calling 352-567-0055 or visiting our website.