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Florida Domestic Violence Law

Call 1-800-NOW DIVORCE for immediate domestic violence information

If there is domestic violence in Florida one can seek an "Ex Parte" restraining order. Normally the domestic violence restraining order requires the offending party to stay away from the other person and their home and place of work etc, and not contact them in any manner, directly or indirectly. So the domestic violence restraining order could mean that the offending party has to leave the home.

Violence, an attempt at violence or a threat of bodily harm may enable you to obtain a restraining order initially without the other party having an opportunity to come to court to explain their side of the story. Usually one must make a police report and bring the report or the police case number to the domestic violence clerk at the courthouse. (check with your local court clerk or the police for the procedure in your area) The clerk will present the matter to the judge. If the judge feels the matter rises to the level of domestic violence under the law, a restraining order may be immediately issued.

The court will then set a hearing where the other side may come to court with any defense that they may wish to give. (i.e. it didn't happen, or self defense etc) Sometimes the court will deny the petition for an ex parte restraining order but still set a hearing where both sides (and witnesses) appear to tell what happened. Violation of a domestic violence restraining order is serious-it is a criminal offense. Note that the court also has the authority to award temporary child support and alimony, and temporary exclusive use of the home. It also has the authority to prohibit or allow contact with the parties minor children.