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Can I prevent my abusive ex-spouse from visiting my children?

The majority of divorce proceedings happen peacefully between two consenting adults, and the reason for the divorce is usually because "irreconcilable differences." However, in certain cases that involve children, the situation is a great deal more serious. Sometimes, one or the other spouses was criminally abusive toward the other and/or toward their children. In this situation, the victimized spouse may feel it necessary to protect him or herself and the children by filing for divorce.

Particularly in cases, where a spouse was physically abusive, it may be possible for the other parent to take legal action to prevent the spouse from receiving child visitation rights. Facts relating to a history of abuse may be emphasized during family court proceedings in order to show that an abusive parent should not be granted full access to his or her children.

If a Florida court has reason to believe that a non-custodial parent will abuse or harm his or her children during allotted visitation times, the court will usually order supervised visitation only. This means that the abusive spouse will still be permitted to see his or her children, but not without a court-approved "supervisor." This individual might be the other parent, it might be an agreed-upon person like a grandparent, or it could be an unrelated court-appointed supervisor.

Florida parents whose children were abused by an ex-spouse have the law on their side to guarantee the protection of themselves and their children from further abuse. By discussing the facts of the abuse and their family situations with a Florida family law lawyer, parents can develop a suitable legal strategy to ensure their safety.

Source: FindLaw, "Parental Visitation Rights FAQ," accessed Nov. 15, 2016

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