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Jupiter Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Domestic Violence > How Do I Get A Restraining Order In Florida?

How Do I Get A Restraining Order In Florida?


A third of women, and a fourth of men, have experienced some form of relationship violence. If that violence meets the legal definition of domestic abuse in Florida, and the victim meets the legal qualifications, a restraining order is an available protection.

A Jupiter domestic violence attorney will help victims properly fill out the paperwork and speak up for them in court.

Go to the Courthouse

Restraining orders aren’t available online. Victims must appear at a circuit court clerk’s office. The clerk must verify your identity in person. Petitioners must also provide proof of address, the address where the violence occurred, and the alleged abuser’s address.

However, the forms usually are available online. Sometimes, these forms are difficult to understand, especially if English isn’t your first language. A Jupiter family law attorney is always available to help in these situations.

Complete the Paperwork

Be as specific as possible about the nature of the violence (hitting, slapping, etc.) and the nature of your relationship with the alleged abuser. Notice that we don’t mention the legal qualifications in this post. Don’t try to make your experience one that qualifies for protection. Just tell the clerk what happened.

Furthermore, don’t sign the form until the clerk tells you to do so. Usually, the clerk must witness your signature, since you’re making a sworn statement to the court.

Judicial Review/Service of Process

Under Florida law, the clerk must “immediately” present your petition to a judge. The clerk may need a few minutes to find an available judge.

A temporary ex parte injunction is usually good for fifteen days. That amount of time gives you some protection, forces the alleged abuser to take a deep breath, and gives you a chance to serve the petition.

The sheriff usually takes care of service of process. That’s why it’s so important to include specific information about the alleged abuser’s residence and business address, as well as the alleged abuser’s physical description.

The Hearing

Make every possible effort to attend the hearing. A continuance may be possible, but don’t count on it. Furthermore, many judges think that if the alleged victim didn’t think the hearing was important, they shouldn’t think any differently.

At this hearing, you or your lawyer (preferably your lawyer) must prove that the abuser has committed an act of domestic violence (as defined by the law) against you and/or your children or that you are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

Connect with a Thorough Palm Beach County Lawyer

Divorce and related matters almost always involve financial and emotional issues. For a free consultation with an experienced Jupiter family law attorney, contact Caroline Olson, P.A.



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