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What Happens to Your Florida Parenting Plan After You Get a Restraining Order?

| Oct 1, 2021 | Family Law

A restraining order is an important legal tool for discouraging abusers from making contact with their victims. Many restraining orders prohibit abusers from even coming within 500 feet of the victim’s work, school, and home.

These conditions present obvious issues for co-parents who have joint custody of their children. Before proceeding with this blog, though, we should define some terms in the context of Florida law:

  • An injunction for protection against domestic violence is the legal name for what many people call a restraining order. A domestic violence injunction may be granted to victims whose abuser is a family or household member.
  • Physical custody in Florida is legally referred to as time-sharing. Many co-parents have equal time-sharing; others have majority/minority time-sharing.

Petitioning for Time-Sharing

If you and the other parent of your kids do not currently have a parenting plan, you may petition the court for time-sharing, child support, and alimony arrangements at the same time you request a domestic violence injunction. This typically requires the petitioner to submit a UCCJEA and/or a family law financial affidavit. Petitioners who seek a new or updated plan often receive 100 percent of the time-sharing and exclusive use of the family home.

What Happens If You Already Have a Parenting Plan?

Let’s say you and your ex already have a court-approved parenting plan. All parties have been judiciously following the plan. Out of the blue, your ex starts behaving erratically. You cope with this until, one day, the two of you get into an argument after exchanging the kids one Sunday afternoon. Your ex slaps you, leaving a bruise on your neck.

Your best course of action is to call an experienced Florida attorney to help you secure a domestic violence injunction. You’ll probably want to request a modification to the parenting plan in light of your ex’s physical abuse. Chances are, though, that your ex won’t go along with your proposed modifications. In that case, it’ll be up to the court to decide on new time-sharing arrangements.

Above all else, the court will make decisions based on the best interests of the child. This means, for instance, that an abusive co-parent might not automatically be prohibited from seeing their children. Pickups might have to be executed differently, though, and the abusive co-parent could be subjected to supervised time-sharing. However, a co-parent alleged to have abused the children (or the other co-parent in front of the children) will probably not receive any time-sharing.

Another potential issue is co-parents’ method of communicating. A common condition of domestic violence injunctions is the prohibition or restriction of communications. In a co-parenting situation involving domestic violence, the court might help the co-parents set up a secure, supervised online portal for communications.

Personalized Legal Attention is Important

Dealing with domestic violence from your current or ex-partner is complicated enough without you having to worry about minor children. While following court-approved parenting plans is important, the safety of you and your children is paramount. An experienced and caring family law attorney is your best resource when petitioning for a domestic violence injunction.

Rotella & Hernandez focuses on providing clients with personalized, caring legal representation. Every case is different, and we’ll do whatever it takes to achieve your goals.