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How to respond to a domestic violence protective order against you

Florida courts may issue a domestic violence protective order in response to allegations of abuse by a family member. If you live with or have a child with someone, he or she can also seek this type of injunction.

Learn about steps to take in response to legal service with a Florida domestic violence injunction.

Understanding the protective order

The person who requests this type of order must provide proof that you have been violent or caused them to reasonably fear violence. He or she may request that the order include children.

A domestic violence injunction prohibits you from contacting or harming the individuals listed in the order. It may require you to temporarily give up custody, pay child support, or relinquish guns and ammunition. The court may also order spousal support and mandate that you leave a shared home.

Responding to the protective order

Carefully read the protective order and follow its terms. You may want to seek legal advice if you do not understand anything in this document. Florida courts can impose fines, probation or even jail time for violating a protective order.

Initially, the court will issue a temporary order, which lasts for 15 days. The court will schedule a hearing during that time. You will have a chance to present your defense or have an attorney do so on your behalf. Violating the terms of the temporary restraining order can harm your case in addition to other legal consequences.

At the hearing, the judge may decide to dismiss the order or issue a permanent order that lasts at least one and up to five years depending on your case.

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