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Can you face domestic violence charges if you live separately?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2024 | Blog, Domestic Violence

Examples of domestic violence under Florida law include assault, aggravated assault, battery or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of a family or household member. Family or household members include spouses, former spouses, individuals related by blood or marriage, individuals living together as a family and parents who share a child.

One common misconception is that individuals must cohabit to face domestic violence charges. However, this is not necessarily the case in Florida.

No requirement to cohabit

Florida has an average of 2.53 people per household. Even if individuals do not live together, they can still face charges if the relationship falls within the defined categories of family or household members. This recognizes that domestic violence extends beyond the confines of shared living spaces.

Restraining orders and protection

People can obtain injunctions regardless of whether the parties reside together or not. The court evaluates the nature of the relationship and the potential harm to determine if it should issue an injunction.

Impact on custody and visitation

In cases involving parents, domestic violence allegations can significantly impact child custody and visitation arrangements. Courts in Florida prioritize the best interests of the child. Domestic violence issues may influence the court’s decision in custody matters.

Being charged with domestic violence can lead to serious consequences, including fines, probation and even incarceration. The severity of the charges depends on the specific alleged circumstances of the case, such as the extent of injuries, use of weapons or prior offenses. Regardless, living together is not a prerequisite for facing domestic violence charges in Florida. The state’s laws emphasize the broader impact of domestic violence beyond mere cohabitation.