Florida Divorce Guide – Section 1
Is it possible to save your marriage?
Are you certain that your marriage cannot be saved? Before taking any legal steps to end your marriage, you should think about ways to save it. You might want to talk to a marriage counselor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a minister, a priest, a rabbi, or another professional. Many social and religious organizations provide affordable counseling services. Your family law attorney may be able to refer you to someone who can counsel you individually or in conjunction with your spouse. Some counseling services are provided for free, while others are provided on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay.
If you believe you are the victim of domestic violence, repeated violence, or sexual violence, you can seek assistance from local law enforcement and ask a civil court to issue an injunction (also known as a “restraining order”).
You can go to civil court on your own (without an attorney) to seek an injunction to protect yourself from domestic violence. Domestic violence includes any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense that results in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
If you wish, you may hire an attorney to represent you in the domestic violence civil action. You cannot request that the other party pay for your attorney’s fees, suit money, or costs incurred in the domestic violence proceeding, which means you will be solely responsible for those fees and costs. Local legal aid programs and organizations may be able to provide legal assistance for free or at a reduced rate. For information on local legal aid organizations in your area, go to FloridaLawHelp.org or consult The Florida Bar’s Legal Aid in Florida consumer pamphlet. You should also seek information from the clerk of the circuit court in your county or a local domestic violence shelter.
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