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What to Know about Obtaining a Restraining Order in Florida


The intent of a restraining order is to assist with protecting someone from possible future violence by issuing an order that another person must stay away from and not contact the individual who filed for the restraining order. Florida offers several different types of restraining orders that relate to different kinds of violence, including domestic, sexual, dating, and repeat violence.

Domestic Violence

Protective orders related to domestic violence can be issued if a family or household member commits an act of violence against another member of the household or family. These can include:

  • Battery, sexual battery, and aggravated battery
  • Assault, sexual assault, and aggravated assault
  • Kidnapping or false imprisonment
  • Stalking or aggravated stalking

Domestic violence protective orders are intended to protect those who have a noted relationship with the alleged abuser, like a relative, spouse, other parent of a child, etc.

Some of the activity a domestic violence protective order can address include granting temporary custody, counseling, excluding them from the residence, and refraining from committing any further acts of domestic violence. Temporary orders are good for up to 15 days and a general order is valid for a year, with the ability to reapply each year. Violating an order is considered a Misdemeanor in the 1st degree.

Other Types of Protective Orders

If the victim doesn’t meet the criteria for a domestic violence protective order, then he or she would need to file for one based on sexual violence, dating, or repeat violence.

Repeat violence is definite as two instances of violence against the victim or victim’s immediate family. One of these instances has to have occurred within six months of filing for the order, and there is no requirement on what the relationship between the abuser and the victim has to be.

Parties who are in an intimate or romantic relationship must be in a “continuing and significant” intimate or romantic relationship. The court is the one who determines whether a relationship meets this criteria by looking at a variety of factors, like whether they dated within the previous six months, or whether the relationship involved an expectation of sexual involvement or affection.

Sexual violence restraining orders are granted when an act, like sexual battery, is committed. It doesn’t matter whether there were criminal charges filed or dismissed. Other acts that qualify under sexual violence include sexual performance by a child, luring or enticing a child, forcible felonies involving a sexual act, or merely attempting an act, or lewd or lascivious acts committed upon a child, or in the presence of one, under the age of 16.

Retaining a Florida Family Law

It’s important to note that restraining orders can have an effect on divorce and custody matters. The courts may preclude a parent with a history of domestic violence from having significant parenting time, or even having unsupervised visitation.

If you need to obtain a restraining order or need assistance with a divorce or custody case that involves domestic violence, you need a skilled Florida family law attorney. Contact the team at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White to schedule a consultation today.

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