11 Jul Filing for a Restraining Order During a Divorce in Florida
While it isn’t spoken about in fairy tales or on television much, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that some marriages turn violent. In fact, some estimates suggest that as many as one-third of all women are victims of domestic violence during their lifetime and between 10-50 percent of women report having been hit or physically assaulted by an intimate partner at some time in their lives (Domestic Violence and Abuse in Intimate Relationship from Public Health Perspective).
When violence does occur in a marriage, it is very often the right choice to exit the dangerous situation and extract yourself from the relationship, but doing so can present other dangers and can be more challenging than many people expect. When violent marriages become complicated, one of the best things that victims can do to protect their safety is to file for a domestic violence restraining order (personal protection order) with the help of a family law attorney. Here is a closer look at when this process may be necessary, and some ideas on how to proceed when a restraining order is helpful in ending a violent marriage.
When Do You Need a Restraining Order?
If you are in the process of extracting yourself from a violent marriage, a restraining order can be a very helpful tool. Here are a few signs that it could be a good idea to get a restraining order against a violent spouse.
1. You Are Afraid For Your Physical Safety
If your marriage has reached a level of violence where there has been abuse, it is slowly becoming worse and you are concerned about your personal physical safety, don’t think twice. File a petition for a restraining order against domestic violence. There’s no such thing as being too cautious where your physical safety is concerned, and there is a lot of value in trusting your gut.
2. Threats Have Been Made
Even if you are apprehensive about filing for a restraining order against a family member, a direct threat of physical violence from a previously violent or notably erratic spouse that has an eminent ability to carry out the threat is good cause for concern. In these situations, it is a good idea to file for a restraining order as soon as possible. That old saying “better safe than sorry” applies fully here, and it’s a smart idea to take threats seriously and respond as if violence is an option.
3. You Genuinely Feel that You Need a Restraining Order
If you personally feel that you need a restraining in order to successfully extract yourself from a violent marriage, trust your instincts. In these cases, it is not atypical to hear from the battered spouse something to the effect of “if I file for divorce he will kill me”. If this is the case, speak with a family law attorney about how you can successfully obtain a restraining order against your spouse.
How a Restraining Order Can Help Divorce Proceedings
For one, receiving a Florida court order against your spouse can help your divorce proceedings by enabling law enforcement to protect your physical safety by preventing your spouse from being at your work, home and a certain distance from you. If you have lived in a violent marriage, seeking a divorce can be dangerous, and encourage further violence. Restraining orders make it possible for you to focus on all of the other complicated elements of divorce without worrying about your personal safety. It is very hard to make rational decisions about your future while living in the same house as the person who is physically violent towards you in the midst of a divorce.
Additionally, filing for a restraining order before divorce proceedings begin can help you protect yourself, your family, and your interests during the Dissolution of Marriage process. The judge who presides over your divorce will be able to see your restraining order, and having heard evidence of the acts of violence your spouse has committed against you can be useful information in the judge’s decision-making enabling him/her to help make decisions that help ensure your safety and, perhaps, that of your children.
How a Family Law Attorney Can Help
Restraining orders are usually a matter of some urgency. If you feel physically threatened as the result of a violent marriage, you want to be sure that you find security and peace of mind as quickly as possible. It is possible to do your own research, file for a restraining order in court, and hope that you’ve done everything necessary to get the protection you need. But, turning to a family law attorney can help you feel confident that you get the security you deserve as quickly as possible.
Additionally, working with a family law attorney to file a restraining order can be a good way to start talking and thinking about divorce more seriously. The same attorney who helps you file your restraining order can help you approach other sensitive elements of your divorce, and it’s good to build up a rapport early. If you are in a violent marriage and feel unsafe in seeking a divorce, restraining orders can help, and a good family lawyer can help you get a restraining order quickly and confidently.
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