Tampa family law attorneys are constantly asked about the interplay between domestic violence injunctions and family law matters because recently they seem to always be one and the same. For example, it appears that in nearly every Tampa divorce our firm is handling, a domestic violence injunction is either considered or filed by either of the parties involved. We’re not sure whether this newfound popularity of injunctions is related to an increase in domestic violence or simply an attempt to gain leverage in a Tampa Family Law case. Regardless, one cannot look at a divorce in a vacuum and not consider domestic violence injunctions that may be filed or have already been filed in the matter. Frankly, courts will consider domestic violence injunctions in its determination of issues relating to the minor child or minor children, and the parties must be prepared to deal with those at the final hearing. Domestic violence injunctions primarily deal and affect divorce and family law matters in three ways.
First, a domestic violence injunction that removes a party from a marital home puts that party at a significant disadvantage from the get-go in the case. It prevents the parties from being able to maintain a proper accounting of their non-marital assets in the residence because they simply can’t review and identify those items. Secondly, once a party is already out of a marital home, courts are hard-pressed to remove the party residing at the residence and put a new party in that residence. Frankly, that’s just the nature of the courts and their desire to maintain continuity for minor children and/or the person in the home.
Secondly, courts always consider the fact that a prior court has deemed a need for protection from some sort of domestic violence which gave rise to the domestic violence injunction. Unfortunately, many folks wish to relitigate their domestic violence injunction at a Tampa family law or divorce final hearing, but the majority of courts will explain that a decision has already been made and that court is not going to relitigate the matter. This is also critical because injunctions put the parties in a situation where they are less likely to settle because of the lifelong or a lengthy domestic violence injunction of one of the parties’ records. For example, a matter that may have been quickly resolved without the injunction will be nearly impossible to resolve because of the damage done by the placement of the injunction.
Lastly and arguably most importantly, a domestic violence injunction prevents the parties from engaging in any informal negotiations amongst themselves. In the majority of Tampa family law and divorce matters, the parties are constantly conducting some sort of informal settlement negotiations between the two. This is beneficial because it keeps an ongoing dialogue and identifies those matters that actually have to be litigated in those matters that can actually be resolved by the parties. Unfortunately, once the parties stop talking, it frankly is never the same regardless of whether the domestic violence injunction is set aside or expires. This is especially true if the parties are seeking to resolve their Tampa Family Law case quickly and cost effectively.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning a domestic violence injunction and its effect on a Tampa divorce, contact the Tampa Family Law attorneys at Hackworth Law, P. A., for free case consultation. We’ve handled hundreds of divorces and family law matters throughout the Tampa Bay area, and always offer free case consultations to our clients. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa Family Law attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right-hand corner of our website. We appreciate your time and attention in this matter and look forward to hearing from you.