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Protecting your child from abuse

One of the most common reasons people stay in an abusive relationship is for their children, but when your child is in an abusive home, you need to take the right steps to protect them. Emotionally, this can be very difficult, but the legal steps you can take to protect your child are relatively straight-forward.

Asking for help

For most parents leaving domestic violence behind, asking for help is the hardest part. Give yourself permission to ask for help; you deserve it. And your child deserves a safe, peaceful home. There are many resources you can use in Florida, including women’s shelters, hotlines and community groups. Many of these groups coordinate with Florida officials to offer safe housing, financial support and legal aid. But, they cannot help until you ask them to.

Taking legal precautions

Once you are in a safe place, you can start to think about your next steps. Legal action can be overwhelming, but legal help is available. You will need to do a couple of steps, including:

  • Gathering any evidence you have of the abuse, including pictures, medical records and other documentation
  • Speaking with an attorney about your rights as a parent and how any protective order will affect both you and your child
  • Establishing a custody agreement that accounts for both your safety and that of your child, including petitioning for sole custody if necessary

In some cases, abuse is grounds for terminating parental rights, but it is more common for parents to maintain some level of visitation and involvement with their child. The court will put your child’s well-being as its primary focus throughout any disputes, but now is the time to advocate for your child and their safety physically, mentally and emotionally.

Parenting is hard, but you aren’t alone

In addition to the formal legal steps, you may consider seeking counseling and other services for both you and your child. Emotional recovery can take more time than physical recovery, but you can create the better life you deserve.

Alex Hanna was named Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer (2016) by The National Trial Lawyers.

Alex Hanna is rated a Premier DUI Attorney by the American Association of Premier DUI (2016).

Alex Hanna was named Traffic Lawyer of the Decade (2010) by the Minority Chamber of Commerce.

Alex Hanna was given the 2016 Client’s Choice Award from Avvo.

Alex Hanna is a member of The Florida Bar and Practices in the areas of Criminal, Traffic and Personal Injury Law since 2001.

Alex Hanna is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2016).

Alex Hanna is a member of the Esteemed Lawyers of America association (2017).

Alex Hanna is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (2017).

Alex Hanna was bestowed the 10 best law firm award by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys in 2016 and 2017.