Can an Out of State Domestic Violence Order Affect My Florida Parental Rights?
Any presence of domestic violence in your life, whether it is an isolated incident that occurred in your past, a restraining order, or a criminal charge, can affect your parental rights in Florida. It does not matter if your charge or restraining order is from another state. Although Florida typically creates timesharing arrangements that provide both parents with parenting time, yours could be curtailed if the court feels your child’s safety is at risk with you.
The Court Always Looks as What is in the Child’s Best Interest
When the court determines a parenting plan, it considers a long list of factors about the child’s needs and the parents’ lifestyle to determine the parenting plan that best suits the child’s best interest. These factors include:
- The child’s relationship with each parent;
- Whether there is a history of domestic violence in either parent’s household;
- Each parent’s physical and mental health status;
- Each parent’s moral fitness;
- Each parent’s willingness to communicate with the other parent regarding their child’s care;
- Each parent’s willingness to cooperate with the court and the other parent; and
- Any evidence that suggests either parent has provided false information to the court regarding previous instances of domestic violence, abandonment, or other harm to the child.
Even if there is no history of violence toward the child, the court may consider a history of domestic violence to be potentially harmful to him or her. This is because research shows that merely witnessing domestic violence can cause a child to suffer psychological and emotional distress and increase his or her chances of becoming an abuser later in life.
Ways a Domestic Violence Order Can Impact your Parenting Plan
If the court determines that your history of domestic violence could put your child’s health or safety at risk, it may choose to limit your parental rights. There are a few ways it can do this, such as:
- Enforcing supervised parenting time. You could be required to have your parenting time in a specific location or while supervised by a specific party, such as a family member;
- Restricted parenting time. The court may prohibit overnight visits or impose other restrictions on your time with your child; and
- Terminating your parental rights. This is an extreme measure, but it is a measure the court may take if it deems it necessary.
Work with an Experienced Orlando Family Lawyer
If you are a parent facing a domestic violence charge or a restraining order, you should have an experienced Orlando family lawyer who can advocate for you and protect your parental rights. This could mean helping you get the help you need and showing the court that you are not a danger to your child or helping you fight false allegations about your behavior. To learn more about your parental rights and to start working on your case with a member of our team, contact Goodblatt • Leo today to schedule your initial consultation with us.