Florida Domestic Violence Laws Protect You in Divorce and Child Time-Sharing Proceedings
Previously, situations involving domestic violence and abuse would have been considered ‘grounds’ for a divorce in Florida and would have justified filing a divorce petition. Now, the only thing required by law to obtain a divorce is to claim that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences. However, Florida domestic violence laws are designed to protect victims and their children in these situations and can work in your favor in terms of a divorce settlement or order and any child time sharing plans you make.
Florida Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence is an unfortunately common problem. Even if it was not an issue during your marriage, it could become a factor during divorce proceedings. This type of behavior on the part of an abuser is often about control, which can be triggered during a marital separation or once divorce related paperwork is filed.
Under Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes, domestic violence involves threats and physical actions against a spouse, child, or other family members living in the home. In addition to punching, hitting, kicking, pushing or other types of physical assault, it can include any of the following:
- Name calling and put downs;
- Making threats to harm you or others;
- Destroying your property;
- Harming or threatening to harm pets;
- Preventing you from leaving the home or engaging in activities;
- Stalking you at work, school, or in other public places, as well as online;
- Exerting excessive control over finances;
- Sexual harassment and sexual assault;
- Breaking into your home or other property.
When a spouse engages in any of the above either during your divorce or in your marriage, you may be entitled to obtain a restraining order. The Broward County Court can issue an Injunction for Protection to prevent your spouse from contacting you in any way. If they violate the order, they could be subject to arrest.
Domestic Violence and Florida Divorce
While domestic violence is not considered grounds for divorce, it can have a major impact on any divorce related orders issued in your case. Under the Florida divorce statutes, areas where it will likely be a consideration include:
- Marital property division: In cases of domestic abuse, you may be entitled to a larger portion of any marital assets, as well as rights to the family home.
- Spousal support: You may be entitled to spousal support as a way to help you get back on your feet. This is particularly true in cases where you make less income or gave up your own career in support of the marriage.
- Child time sharing: To protect any children of the marriage, the judge may restrict your spouse’s parenting time.
Let Us Help You Today
Attorney Vanessa L. Prieto is a strong legal advocate for those in abusive situations. To find out more about how the law can protect you against abusive actions on the part of your spouse, call or contact our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney to request a confidential consultation today.