Orlando Domestic Violence Attorney
Over 100,000 crimes of domestic violence are reported in Florida every year, and countless more go unreported. Domestic violence is a very serious issue with lasting repercussions on the individuals and families involved. Charges of domestic violence can also have a lasting impact on important issues in a divorce or custody dispute. At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., we take immediate steps to make sure children and adults alike are safe from domestic violence, while also ensuring that our clients in a divorce are treated fairly and adequately represented in any legal proceeding involving allegations of domestic violence. Contact our Orlando domestic violence attorney for information or assistance today.
Domestic violence is not limited to physical violence. It can fall into one of five categories: physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, and financial. In some cases, more than one type of domestic violence is present in a relationship.
Physical abuse is the most obvious type of domestic violence because it frequently results in injuries, scarring, bruising, burns, and cuts. Any type of unwanted physical contact committed toward a victim may be considered to be physical abuse, such as hitting, shoving, kicking, or harming him or her with a weapon or object used as a weapon. Physical abuse can also include refusing an individual a substance that he or she needs to remain healthy and alive, such as medication or even just food or water. It can also include forcing an individual to use drugs against his or her will.
Emotional abuse is a form of violence that manipulates an individual’s emotional state to allow the abuser to maintain control over his or her actions. Examples of emotional abuse can include telling the victim that he or she is unworthy of love, insulting, belittling, or criticizing the victim to reduce his or her self-esteem, and using empty promises to keep the victim under control.
Psychological abuse shares some characteristics with emotional abuse, but is distinct in that it refers to control over the victim’s relationship with the outside world, rather than simply manipulating his or her feelings about the abuser. For example, psychological abuse can include prohibiting the victim from contacting family or friends, creating a distorted balance of power that leaves the victim having to ask the abuser for permission for trivial matters, and threatening the victim with severe consequences if he or she were to leave the relationship or otherwise upset the abuser.
Sexual abuse refers to any unwanted sexual contact between the victim and abuser. It can refer to rape, but it can also refer to a myriad of other sexual offenses. Some examples of these offenses include unwanted touching, harassment, and forcing the victim into sexual activities that he or she is not comfortable doing. Reproductive coercion, which is the act of sabotaging one’s form of birth control to force a partner into becoming a parent against his or her will or forcing a pregnant victim to have an abortion against her will, is also a form of sexual abuse.
Financial abuse refers to the strict control of a victim’s finances in order to control the victim. Examples of financial abuse can include prohibiting a victim from working or going to school, requiring a victim to give the abuser all of his or her paychecks, obsessively checking the victim’s banking statements and punishing him or her for unapproved purchases, and withholding money from the victim. Financial abuse can be the most difficult type of abuse for a victim, especially a female victim, to recognize because of long-held cultural traditions of men being breadwinners and holding the financial control over a household.
Seeking Restraining Orders under Florida Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence in Florida includes any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking or any other criminal offense which causes a physical injury, when the act is committed by a family member or member of the household. This includes ex-spouses as well as people who have a child in common, even if they have never been married. Let our Orlando domestic violence attorney help you.
A person who has been the victim of domestic violence or who is in imminent danger of domestic violence can go to court for an emergency protective order or temporary restraining order. These court orders can immediately restrain the alleged abuser from having any contact with the victim and be subject to arrest for violating the order. In addition, the judge granting the injunction can make any number of other orders against the alleged abuser, including:
- Ordering the alleged abuser to move out of the home, giving temporary possession to the alleged victim
- Establishing a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule for child custody and visitation, or modifying an existing plan
- Creating or modifying child support orders
- Ordering the alleged abuser to relinquish any firearms
- Ordering the alleged abuser to take a batterer’s intervention course
All of the above can be issued without any hearing or prior notice to the alleged abuser. A hearing must be held, however, within 15 days, to decide whether to continue the order or cancel it. At this hearing, the alleged abuser may appear with an attorney and challenge the injunction.
Challenging Restraining Orders in Florida Divorces
As you can see, a restraining order can greatly affect the way child custody and child support issues are handled, as well as the equitable distribution of marital property when one party is granted possession of the home and the other is ordered to move out. While we fully support victims of domestic violence and help them seek emergency protective orders whenever appropriate, when a restraining order is misused to gain an unfair advantage in a divorce proceeding, we act swiftly and vigorously challenge any such abuse of the legal process. Contact our Orlando domestic violence attorneys for more information.
Seek an Experienced Orlando Domestic Violence Attorney for Your Domestic Violence Matter
Whether you are seeking or challenging a domestic violence restraining order, it is important to be advised and represented by an experienced Orlando domestic violence attorney who fully understands how these matters may affect a related divorce, child custody dispute or other family law matter. In Orlando, contact the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee for professional legal assistance.