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Ft. Lauderdale Domestic Violence

The household is considered by many as their safe haven from the dangers and stress of the outside world. We are surrounded by our loved ones, and those close to the family in these households, and one should never fear getting hurt while in these safe havens. However, that is not always the case for some families as they are in danger or have been victims of domestic violence due to a family or household member.

domestic abuse attorney 1024x681 1 300x200 Ft. Lauderdale Domestic ViolenceSometimes, these victims do not report domestic violence cases for fear of retaliation and further violence. But, it is crucial that legal action is taken to stop these abusive family or household members and get the protection you and your loved ones need to live a normal life away from them. An experienced Ft. Lauderdale domestic violence legal team should be able to help you create a strong legal case against these abusive people and fight for their rights.

Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys is a Ft. Lauderdale, IL family law firm you can trust to resolve your domestic violence cases in the best way possible. For creating a strong legal case against the respondent and getting a protective order to represent you in court, you can trust our lawyers to be with you throughout the case. Even after that, you can live your life without fear. Our legal services are also open for those accused of committing domestic violence. Our team will sort out a strong defense for their side and fight for a lighter sentence.

Call Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys at (954) 371-2993 for your Consultation with a Ft. Lauderdale Domestic Violence attorney!

Classification of Domestic Violence in Illinois

Under Illinois state law, domestic violence happens when a family member or household member uses physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse against a family member, household member, partner, or former partner or spouse.

guy 2617866 1920 300x200 Ft. Lauderdale Domestic ViolenceIt is considered domestic battery if the offender caused intentional bodily harm to their victims or made physical contact in a threatening or insulting manner. Domestic battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor. However, it becomes a Class 4 felony if the abuser has prior convictions for domestic battery or has violated an order of protection. It is also classified as a Class 4 felony if the abuser has prior convictions of committing any violent crimes against any family or household member.

Class A misdemeanors have a maximum sentence of less than a year in prison and a $2,500 fine, while a Class 4 felony has up to 6 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

If the abuser caused great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement, it would be considered an aggravated domestic battery case. It is also an aggravated domestic battery if the abuser strangled their victim while a domestic battery case is being heard.

Aggravated domestic battery cases are Class 2 felony cases, and the sentence varies depending on the conditions of the case. However, there is a minimum 60-day jail sentence for anyone found guilty of aggravated domestic battery. If they have prior convictions for the same case, they will have a minimum of 3 years in prison.

The state law also has a section regarding anyone who interferes in reporting domestic violence incidents. It is considered a Class A misdemeanor if it is proven that you interfered with someone’s attempt to report a case or prevented a victim from getting medical help.

Obtaining a Protective Order

If a person or the petitioner wishes to get additional protection for themselves, their family members, and those who live in the same household from their abusive family member or household member, they can file a petition for a protective order in court. The order will be personalized to include provisions such as prohibiting the respondent from intimidating, harassing, or physically abusing the petitioner.

domestic violence segment 300x199 Ft. Lauderdale Domestic ViolenceThe court may also award an exclusive residence for the petitioner, which the respondent is not allowed to approach. If they are living in the residence, they must leave immediately. Child custody and counseling for the respondent may also be added as part of the provisions.

Respondents are allowed to contest this petition in court since the provisions can last up to 2 years or more, depending on the circumstances of the case.

The court may hand an emergency order of protection without giving the respondent a chance to question it. This occurs when the petitioner provides ample evidence that the respondent will likely storm the petitioner and cause harm once they receive the notice for a protection request. However, when an emergency order of protection is granted, it will not have provisions that will require the respondent to provide the petitioner compensation or pay for legal custody and counseling.

Our Ft. Lauderdale domestic violence legal team can help you apply for either a protective order or an emergency protective order and provide the right evidence to support the petition. Once granted, we will ensure the other party respects it and, if not, immediately report it to the court. If you are the respondent and would like to contest the petition, let our team know, and we will help you provide the evidence for the case to be ruled in your favor.

Protective Order Violations

Respondents to a domestic violence case must not violate a protective order if the court issues it.

A respondent can commit a violation by either acting to violate or failing to act to follow the provisions pertaining to:

  • Physical harassment, abuse, willful deprivation, or interfering with the petitioner’s rights
  • Exclusive possession of the residence assigned to the petitioner
  • The respondent stays away from the petitioner and other protected individuals or their residence, school, workplace, or other identified areas covered by the provision order.
  • The respondent posed a threat to the petitioner and other protected individuals by illegally entering or staying at their residence while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.
  • The respondent is caught with firearms in their possession.
  • The respondent commits child abduction or violates the provisions regarding legal custody or removing the child from the state or keeping them hidden.

If the respondent is found guilty of violating a protective order, they will face penalties for violating it and for committing the crime that led them to violate the order in the first place. It will also be considered a Class A misdemeanor if it is the first offense. It will become a Class 4 felony if the respondent has previously violated a protective order or committed domestic battery or violent crimes against a family or household member.

Our Ft. Lauderdale domestic violence lawyers can help either party handle protection order violations. If you are the petitioner, we can help you collect the evidence to prove that the respondent violated the protective order’s terms and file it in court. Meanwhile, we can help you argue against allegations that you violated the provisions of the order if you are the respondent.

Talk To Our Legal Experts Today

Davis Logo 300x96 Ft. Lauderdale Domestic ViolenceWhether you, your family members, or those in your household are threatened due to potential violence or abuse from another member, don’t wait until the situation worsens. Call a trusted and experienced Ft. Lauderdale domestic violence lawyer immediately to build a case against the potential or actual abuser and get you and all those who are at risk all the protections possible, so the risk of being hurt once more by these people is reduced significantly.

At Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys, we will handle your case carefully and ensure all the legal avenues are explored to give a just punishment. If you are the one accused of committing domestic violence and were wrongfully accused, let us know, and we will provide you with all the legal assistance you need to defend your side.

Call Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys at (954) 371-2993 for your Consultation with a Ft. Lauderdale Domestic Violence attorney!

Avoiding Taxes Through Spousal and Child Support

The financial aspects of a divorce settlement will have a lot of moving parts: spousal support, child support, property division, retirement assets, and debt, just for starters. Each of these will also have a tax-related aspect. For example, some retirement assets are subject to income tax; or different assets might have different cost bases, which will result in different capital gains taxes when sold. One of the more important concerns I see in my practice is the tax implications of child and/or spousal support.

Child support is not deductible from the paying spouse’s income, nor taxable to the recipient. There is no legal policy that supports tax or tax relief for money spent on your own children for daily living expenses. Spousal support (also known as spousal maintenance or alimony) however, is deductible from the paying spouse’s income, and will be taxable to the recipient spouse. This is because the calculation of support is largely concerned with the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage, which is a function of income. If the recipient spouse has access to enough income on their own to support their lifestyle, there is no need for additional support.

Interestingly, Illinois law allows a unique tool that allows greater tax savings: Unallocated Support. Sometimes called “family support”, unallocated support lumps child support and spousal support into one, large, tax-deductible payment. This is helpful if there is a vast difference in income. As an example, take a couple with two minor children where the husband earns $140,000 per year, and the wife earns $15,000 per year. In this scenario (with no other tax deductions/credits), the husband would have to pay approximately $1,653 per month in child support, and $3,250 per month in spousal support. If he combined both payments into a single unallocated payment, it would result in approximately $2,200 in combined yearly tax savings. A smart attorney will try to negotiate an unallocated payment that is less than simply combining the child support and spousal support payment, but results in a greater after-tax benefit to the receiving spouse over the traditional two-payment scheme.

There is a danger in trying to outsmart the IRS, however. If your spousal support payments decrease too drastically in the first three years, it may be viewed as a property transfer which would not be deductible by the paying spouse. The IRS may then “recapture” these support payments by requiring the paying spouse to pay back the tax savings from the wrongful deduction. This is a problem if there is a short maintenance duration and the payments are unallocated since the maintenance portion of the payment would drop off and the child support portion would remain.

The lesson here is that the financial aspects of a divorce can be complicated. Anyone considering a premarital agreement or divorcing with even semi-complex finances should engage an attorney who is versed in tax implications, which can help in negotiating the most advantages division of income, debt and property.