When a marriage starts to become violent, it is best to get protection and begin the process to formally end the union as soon as possible to avoid additional problems. Lawyers who focus on this area of the law can help make this transitory time as stress-free as possible.
A woman in Clearwater was arrested for getting violent after her husband mentioned that he wanted a divorce.
The argument over a divorce results in a taser attack and arrest
The situation began when the woman’s husband had told her that he wanted a divorce after nine years of marriage on a Sunday morning during a verbal argument. At some point during this argument, she pulled a taser on him at close range and began to attack him. The official police report said that the man was shocked by the weapon several times, but the metal barbs from the weapon were not deployed.
The Pinellas County Sheriff confirmed that the 69-year-old woman was arrested for aggravated domestic battery and taken into custody at her mobile home shortly after the incident. During an initial interview with police, she admitted to shocking her husband but claimed the action was in self-defense. She was released on a $1,000 bond the following Monday morning. She was then accompanied by a police escort to retrieve her belongings from her home. An order was also put in place by the judge assigned to her case to stay away from her husband.
A local assistant public defender for Pinellas County was assigned to her case, but the office said that they cannot comment on active cases per official policy. The charges related to the arrest are pending and the woman has not yet been convicted.
Divorces that overlap with domestic violence issues
While situations like this are an anomaly, many divorces can correspond to times when there is a lot of arguing or even domestic violence between a couple. The courts in Florida will issue a protective order if it is necessary to prevent harm to one spouse or children. Law enforcement may respond to the residence if there is an active, violent situation that needs to be addressed.
It is best to formally separate with a divorce or get a protective order before this happens, as it is common for one or both spouses to be arrested if the police have to respond to a domestic violence call. Dealing with criminal charges will create a separate legal process that needs to be addressed in criminal court, in addition to, the divorce proceedings in family court. Having to deal with two separate legal issues results in additional time and expense, along with life disruptions.
Grounds for divorce under state law
Like most jurisdictions in the U.S., Florida now allows couples to get a no-fault divorce. This means that one or both of the spouses can simply file the relevant paperwork and say that the marriage has broken down. As long as they meet basic residency requirements in the state, the marriage can be formally ended by a judge thereafter. There does not need to be a history of severe problems or fault-based grounds, such as, domestic violence, substance abuse, or adultery to end a marriage.
Getting a protective order
Some people may choose to get a protective order against the other spouse to protect themselves and their children. This is a fairly simple process in Florida provided the statutory grounds for the issuance of an injunction are met. Aside from domestic violence, people routinely get protective orders to prevent stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or other violent offenses. The courts will try to determine what relationship the person has with the accused. In most cases, it is a romantic partner, family member, or roommate who poses a threat of violence.
The person who has been harmed or whose circumstances meet the statutory criteria for the issuance of an injunction can petition the local courts for an injunction that prevents the other spouse from coming within a certain distance of the petitioner and their children. A standard order that is signed by a judge will tell the person accused to stay away and prohibit them from engaging in other behaviors based on the situation. If this order is violated, the party responsible will be arrested and charged with a criminal offense.
Stay safe during a violent relationship
Family law attorneys in your area are the best way to learn more about the process of separation and getting formal legal protection through the courts. You can get advice that is relevant to your situation during an initial consultation with a lawyer.
Lawyers on Florida’s Gulf Coast can help with a divorce
There are attorneys who serve clients in Clearwater and nearby areas. They can talk to you about the procedure to get a divorce and other family law issues. The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet provide professional advice and guidance.