Restraining orders are legal provisions that limit someone from making contact with another person. In the context of family law, restraining orders may be issued against a current or former spouse due to many different reasons. Some orders are temporary, arising from a family dispute that requires resolution. Others are issued on a long-term basis in response to immediate safety concerns for the affected spouse or children from the marriage.
If you're looking into filing a restraining order, here are some useful tips for determining the most effective order that will address concerns.
Cases of abuse or violence
If you're a victim of domestic violence, you can immediately file a temporary restraining order to help keep you safe. These orders are designed to address an urgent safety concern while details of the case are being worked out.
A temporary restraining order can be filed if you experience domestic violence or receive threats of such violence from your partner. This type of order is issued for more than just spousal disputes. It can also be issued to protect an elderly person within the home, a child, or a disabled family member who is being abused. The order may last for a few weeks or until the case is heard in a family or civil court.
Imminent danger to a partner, child, or family member
In cases where a court determines that someone is an imminent danger to your family, the court may issue a permanent restraining order. These provisions stipulate limitations of contact for a few years and can be extended upon reapplication. A permanent restraining order is typically the next step implemented after a temporary order has been issued. Their primary purpose is to protect a spouse, child, or other family members from harm by the violating party.
Someone with a restraining order issued against them may be required by law to move out of the home, limit contact via phone or social media, and avoid stalking victims in public and private spaces.
A restraining order can also be requested by a law enforcement official who isn't part of the family. These provisions are called emergency restraining orders, and they can be issued by a judge on short notice to protect victims of domestic violence. They're also used to keep elderly or disabled persons within the household safe from abuse if a law enforcement officer deems it necessary.
In some cases, social workers or child protection personnel may also request an emergency restraining order to protect children from harm (such as physical abuse, abduction, or trafficking). The emergency order is typically valid until the case has been resolved in court or otherwise stipulated by a family law judge.
For more information, reach out to a local family law lawyer.