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5 Things to Know Before Filing a Restraining Order in Florida

Filing for a restraining order in Florida is necessary in some situations. Feeling safe is an important aspect of living a normal, healthy life. We surround ourselves with people we feel most comfortable with. However, it is all too common to be in a situation where your safety might be threatened by someone close to you. 

 

In the midst of a divorce, things between a separated couple can turn ugly and, at times, violent. Domestic violence is often triggered by separation or divorce, even if a spouse was not violent previously. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men living in Florida have experienced physical violence from an intimate partner.

If you are going through a divorce in Florida and feel you or your children are in danger, you may want to consult a Miami divorce lawyer to begin restraining order proceedings. But, before you file for a restraining order, there are a few things you should know.  

1. There are different types of restraining orders in Florida

In Florida, there are six different types of restraining orders, also known as injunctions. Four of these injunctions are reserved for those who are victims of physical or sexual violence. The other two types, injunctions for protection against stalking/cyberstalking and risk protection orders, protect victims who are at risk in other ways.

In cases of domestic violence from a spouse or other family member, an injunction for protection against domestic violence would need to be filed. This injunction can be filed for if the abuser is a current or former spouse, is the other parent of the victim’s child, or is related to the victim by either blood or marriage.

Related Article: 5 Tips for Helping Your Children Adjust to Life Following Divorce

In other cases of physical or sexual violence where the victim is not related to the abuser, such as in abusive dating relationships, the victim could file for an injunction for protection against repeat violence, an injunction against dating violence, or an injunction for protection against sexual violence. The type of injunction that is best for a victim to file depends on his or her particular situation. 

Contact the Miami family attorneys at The Aguilera Law Center to discuss the best course of action in your situation.

2. There are certain situations that are grounds for a restraining order

With several types of restraining orders in Florida, sufficient proof of threat is required for an injunction to be placed. Those who file for a restraining order must show that they have endured certain behaviors from the person they are filing against. These behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Assault
  • Threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual Assault
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Burglary
  • Destruction of property

3. You can have your out-of-state restraining order enforced in Florida

If you have an active restraining order from another state, it can still be enforced in Florida. According to Florida law, if an injunction meets requirements under federal law, it can be enforced in the state, whether or not it is registered with state law enforcement. 

The only exception to this rule is if you are trying to enforce a child custody, visitation or child support provision. In these cases, the injunction must be filed with state law enforcement, or “domesticated”. Once the court order has been domesticated, it will be treated as a Florida court decision.

4. You will need to appear in court for a final restraining order

Immediately after filing for a restraining order, a judge will decide whether or not to issue a temporary injunction based on the information provided in the petition for the injunction. This petition serves as the formal request for a restraining order. If the judge decides that there is an immediate threat to the petitioner, he or she will issue the temporary injunction, which will be effective no more than 15 days.

Related Article: Understanding Florida No-Fault Divorce

Before the temporary injunction expires, a date will be set for a court hearing, and the person being filed against will be served a notice of the hearing. Petitioners are required to appear for their court date. In cases where the petitioner does not show up to his or her hearing, the temporary injunction and petition are usually dismissed.  

5. You should have the right attorney when filing for a restraining order

When filing for an injunction in Florida, petitioners often choose the wrong lawyer or choose to file their petition without professional help. When your safety or that of your family is at stake, it is important to have the attorney guiding you and fighting for you.

In Florida, you can file for a restraining order on your own, but having a trusted Miami family law attorney by your side can help you make sure you’re taking all the right steps, especially in the midst of a messy divorce.

Get help with your case today. Contact the expert attorneys at The Aguilera Law Center, P.A. online, or call our office at 305-255-FIRM.

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