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Injunctions for Protection

Injunctions for protection—also known as restraining orders—are available to parties who have a reasonable fear of harm or danger from another party. The four types of restraining orders recognized in Florida are: domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and repeat violence.

  • Domestic Violence:
    ​Domestic Violence petitions are available to any petitioner that has been threatened with violence or treated violently who lives with or has lived with as “family” the person that initiated the threats or violence. The threats or violence may include: assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death to petitioner.
  • Sexual Violence:
    If you are a victim of a sexual offense by someone other than a family member or domestic partner, and the perpetrator is scheduled to be released from prison within 90 days, you may qualify for a sexual violence injunction for protection to prevent future contact or threats.
  • Dating Violence:
    For people that have been involved in a romantic relationship of 6 months or longer, and the parties do not live with each other, a dating violence injunction may be sought if one partner becomes violent with the other.
  • Repeat Violence:
    Where there is no familial or romantic relationship, and you do not qualify for any of the other injunctions, you may be able to seek a repeat violence injunction where there have been at least 2 incidents of physical violence, threats, or stalking, with at least one incident occurring in the previous 6 months. This may be applicable where the perpetrator is a neighbor, acquaintance, co-worker or relative who does not live with you.


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Injunctions during Divorce and Custody Proceedings

When parties in a divorce begin to fight over assets, child support payments, custody, and monetary issues, courts often step in with injunctions to help prevent either side from hiding money, dissolving assets, or trying to sidestep their responsibilities.

  • Property:
    The Court may enjoin, or prevent, a party from selling or transferring property, liquidating assets, or dissolving accounts to ensure that parties cannot hide assets from the other party and ensure more equitable distribution of assets.
  • Children:
    The Court may order a parent to not remove their child from the jurisdiction of the court or from a specific geographical area if they believe that there is risk that the parent will defy the time-sharing plan or if it is not in the best interest of the child.
  • Pick Up Order:
    If a parent has placed a child in immediate danger, or if a parent is interfering with the custody of the other parent by not allowing contact or trying to take the child to another state or country, the Court may order that the child be picked up by police and returned to the petitioning parent immediately.

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INJUNCTIONS

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Once a party has petitioned for an injunction for protection, the respondent has a right to a hearing to challenge the injunction within 10 days. Both parties may bring witnesses to testify on their behalf as to the specific events alleged in the petition as well as other events within a reasonable time period. The judge makes a decision as to whether an injunction is necessary to protect the petitioner from harm and orders a length of time for the protective order, as well as conditions for the injunction that the respondent must follow. Conditions may include no contact with the petitioner, awarding exclusive use of the shared home, modifying time-sharing with children, surrendering weapons, and ordering the respondent to counseling or classes. If the respondent violates the injunction, they may be arrested and charged with violation of an injunction, contempt of court, or a variety of domestic violence related charges based on the violation.

If both parties wish to end an injunction, they may file a petition to have the injunction removed. The Court will consider what has changed in the relationship to no longer require the protection of the petitioner with the injunction.

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Injunctions are court orders preventing a party from doing something. They can range anywhere from preventing a parent from moving a child out of state, to preventing one party from contacting another.