Most family members argue from time to time. While most are able to settle their disputes together in an amicable manner, other times these fights escalate, with each side claiming the other side committed an act of domestic violence. It is important to understand domestic violence laws in Florida, including who can be the victim of domestic violence.
As you may already know, spouses are legally married couples for the purposes of domestic violence laws. In addition, ex-spouses are also protected by domestic violence laws.
Who qualifies as a parent for the purpose of domestic violence laws? Under Florida law, parents include natural parents, biological parents, adoptive parents and legal guardians. Stepparents are also considered parents who are protected by domestic laws.
A child is the natural, biological or adopted child of the alleged offender. Step-children are also included in this category. It is important to note that if a child is not related to the alleged offender by blood or marriage and is temporarily living with the alleged offender, they are not protected under domestic violence laws, although they may have legal protection based on other laws and regulations. If a child is not related to the alleged offender by blood or marriage and is permanently placed in the alleged offender’s household, they are covered by Florida domestic violence laws.
Siblings are those who are the natural, biological or adopted brother or sister of the alleged offender. Half-siblings and step-siblings are also covered by Florida domestic violence laws.
If the victim is not a spouse, parent or child, but is related to the alleged offender by blood, the victim is protected by Florida domestic violence laws. Some examples of other family that fall under this category includes grandparents, uncles, aunts or cousins, among others. It is important to note that in-laws also fall under this category.
Co-habitants are protected by Florida domestic violence laws if they lived together as if they were married, but in actuality they were not legally married. This includes both current co-habitants and former co-habitants.
The final category of who is protected under Florida domestic violence laws include those who have a child together, but never married one another and never resided together.
Learn more about domestic violence in Florida
Whether you believe you are the victim of domestic violence or whether you believe you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, it is important that you understand your rights and options. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about domestic violence in Florida may find our firm’s website to be a useful resource.