Florida Senate Bill 1082:Update to Domestic Violence Injunctions
Senate Bill 1082 is an important update to domestic violence protection orders. The bill allows the petitioner to retain possession of the family pet(s) while a final protective order is pending. If you or a loved one are seeking a protective order against a spouse or intimate partner and are concerned about the welfare of your children and pets, call attorney William Wallshein. He has experience in family law and can assist in filing domestic violence protective orders.
What is Florida SB 1082
SB 1082 states that petitioners seeking relief from domestic violence may request that the judge grant them custody of the family pets. The petitioner must show that the abuser is a danger to themselves, their children and their pets. This update is crucial because in the past potential petitioners were reluctant to file if doing so meant losing possession of the family pet. Any form of threat, intimidation, harassment, emotional, mental, or physical abuse should not be tolerated. The behavior is illegal. While petitioners have the option to file criminal charges against the abuser, they are not compelled to.
In Florida, there are multiple options for petitioners seeking relief from domestic abuse. If you need immediate assistance, you can call police or visit a district court commissioner to obtain an emergency domestic violence petition. In the interim, call an attorney for help drafting a temporary protective order. You will be required to appear before a family court or domestic violence judge for a temporary hearing. As a petitioner, you have several options and avenues for relief. You can request that the judge grant you temporary custody of your shared or step-children, your pets, and the family -use vehicle and home. You can also request that the respondent be compelled to pay family use maintenance: this consists of monetary assistance to pay shared bills, maintenance, upkeep. You may also ask the judge to order the respondent to surrender all weapons, attend counseling, attend anger management or you can ask the judge to order the respondent to stay away from you or child’s school, work, place of worship, dwelling or any other location you choose.
You must prove to the court that you served the respondent with notice of the temporary hearing. You also must establish that you are a person eligible for relief or “PEFR”. A PEFR is a person that shares children with a home with or maintains an intimate relationship with the respondent. In Florida this relief is not limited to married couples. Relief is extended to same-sex couples and unmarried couples. You can also seek a domestic violence order if you are the parent, child, or close relative of the abuser and live in the same home.
After the temporary hearing, if you choose, you can file a petition to schedule a final protective order hearing. Again, you are required to establish that you have served the respondent with notice. Even if the respondent does not appear, the presiding judge still has authority to grant you relief. The final protective order is valid for one year and can be renewed yearly as needed. All relief requested in the temporary order can be extended to the final order.
Reach Out to an Attorney Today for Help
If you or a loved one are concerned about your safety, it’s imperative you act quickly and with calculation. You do not have to suffer alone. Call West Palm Beach family lawyer William Wallshein to develop a safety plan and file a domestic violence order as soon as possible.