Domestic violence is a problem that affects people of every race, gender, sexual orientation, and economic status. If you are a victim of domestic violence, or if you are dealing with an accusation of domestic violence, you should retain an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible to determine a course of action to resolve the situation favorably. Fort Lauderdale domestic violence lawyer Carmen G. Soto will aggressively pursue the legal action appropriate to ensure the well-being of your loved ones and you. She has been a practicing family law attorney for over 15 years and has the knowledge and experience to assist you in protecting your rights in child custody (timesharing) and related matters. The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Carmen G. Soto, P.A. are fluent in Spanish, which allows us to closely communicate with our Spanish-speaking clients.What Constitutes Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is not limited to physical attacks. Instead, a wide variety of harmful and threatening behaviors constitute domestic violence under Florida law. Physical and sexual assault do constitute domestic violence, but so do stalking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment, among other examples. Additionally, any crime resulting in a victim’s injury or death is considered domestic violence when an individual with whom the victim has a familial relationship commits the crime.Who Commits Domestic Violence
People tend to view domestic violence as a situation in which a man acts aggressively toward a woman. Domestic violence is not limited to men committing acts of violence against women, however, since men and children also can be victims of domestic violence. As a domestic violence attorney serving the Fort Lauderdale area, Carmen Soto understands the wide range of situations in which it can arise. Under Florida law, domestic violence occurs whenever an individual’s family or household member commits a violent, threatening, or criminal act against the individual. Family members include spouses, former spouses, and anyone related by blood or marriage. Additionally, people who currently live together as a family or have lived together as a family in the same residence in the past, as well as people who have a child together, are considered family or household members. As a result, even if a couple is not married and no longer lives together, any violent act between them is still considered domestic violence.Domestic Violence and Parental Rights
Domestic violence can have devastating effects in a timesharing (formerly child custody) case. A judge who makes these decisions must act in the best interest of the child involved. While judges generally seek to preserve parent-child relationships by allowing parents to share rights to their child, a judge will not award shared timesharing if such an arrangement will be detrimental to the child. One of the factors that a judge will consider in determining timesharing and parental responsibilities is either parent’s history of domestic violence.
Each parent is required to disclose any charges, claims, and convictions of domestic violence. If a parent has been convicted of domestic violence, the judge can presume that it would be detrimental to the child to grant that parent timesharing, and it is the burden of the convicted parent to convince the court that they should retain their rights. The judge will then hold a hearing to determine whether granting the convicted parent timesharing will impair the child’s well-being. Even if a domestic violence case did not result in a conviction, a judge will weigh any evidence of domestic violence in considering whether a parent should be awarded timesharing.
If you believe that domestic violence is endangering the welfare of your child, or if you have been unjustly accused of domestic violence to prevent you from obtaining rights regarding your child, it is important that you consult a Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and the rights of your child.Protection from Domestic Violence
If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to take immediate action to protect yourself. Generally, it is necessary to file for a domestic violence injunction, or restraining order, against the individual committing acts of violence against you. The injunction will provide legal grounds to prevent your abuser from contacting you and is designed to avert any further harm.Confer with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Family law matters are often demanding and stressful, and dealing with domestic violence is a particularly sensitive situation. If you are a victim of domestic violence or dealing with unwarranted allegations of domestic violence, you should consult a skilled attorney as soon as possible. We are mindful that the costs of obtaining legal representation may create a financial burden, so we offer flexible payment plans to accommodate each client’s economic situation. Our Fort Lauderdale office is conveniently located across from the Broward County courthouse, which allows us to save our clients parking fees and travel costs. We also represent clients in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Davie, Plantation, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Weston, Tamarac, Margate, Hallandale Beach, Lauderdale Lakes, and other cities in Broward County. We can be contacted at 954-523-0703 or via our online form to set up a consultation with a domestic violence lawyer in the Fort Lauderdale area.