Restraining and Protection Orders

In family law matters, emotions can run high. Sometimes a client must ask for restraining and protection orders from the courts. These orders often discourage or prevent someone from doing something which, under normal circumstances, a rational person would never consider.

Restraining Order

A restraining order is intended to protect you from further harm. It is designed to keep the abuser away from you, or to stop them from harassing you at your home, or job. It is a civil order and does not result in a criminal record.

A restraining order is broader than a domestic violence protection order, since it can deal with property issues, child support, spousal support, as well as domestic violence and temporary custody issues. A restraining order is filed as part of a divorce case, a paternity case, or other family law case. If concerned about preventing your spouse from disposing of assets during your separation, you might contact an attorney to file a restraining order.

Domestic Violence Order for Protection

The most commonly requested order is a Domestic Violence Order for Protection. It is a civil order from the court telling the family or household member who threatened or assaulted you not to harm you again.

A protection order can:

  • Order the Respondent not to threaten or hurt you
  • Order the Respondent not to enter your residence
  • Give one parent temporary custody of children
  • Set a schedule for visitation with minor children
  • Order the Respondent to leave a shared residence
  • Grant you possession of essential personal effects
  • Grant you use of a vehicle
  • Order the Respondent to attend counseling

A protection order cannot:

  • Order child support
  • Order maintenance (alimony)
  • Assign most property to either party
  • Establish permanent child custody or use of the shared residence