A protective order, also known as a restraining order, is a court order which restricts an action or prevents someone from contacting or harassing another individual. This type of order is awarded with the intent of protecting victims from an abuser, attacker, or stalker who has hurt them in the past.
The following are the four most common signs you should file a protective order:
- You are being physically abused – The court may enter a protective order when you can prove either actual or threatened violence against you or your children. The restraining order may prohibit the abuser from communicating with or being within a certain distance of you or your children. If you feel like you or your children are in imminent danger, you can request an emergency restraining order.
- You are being psychologically abused – If your significant other or spouse continuously degrades you, attempts to have complete control over your actions, or threatens to harm you or your loved ones, it is known as psychological abuse. If this type of abuse occurs frequently and interferes with your daily life, the court may enter a protective order.
- You are being stalked – If you are being followed by foot or car, watched outside your home or workplace, or sent unwanted correspondences, you may be able to have a protective order issued if you can prove the accused stalked knowingly and repeatedly committed the aforementioned acts.
- Your assets are being depleted – If your estranged spouse is hiding or moving money to prevent you from obtaining your fair share, you can obtain a protective order to prevent further action. Additionally, you can obtain an order against a bank or financial institution which holds an asset to prevent it from assisting your spouse in disposing of marital assets in its possession.
The first protective order that will be issued is known as a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). You need to return to court on the date indicated on the TRO, which is often 10 days later. Both you and the abuser will be asked to appear in court before a judge on that date. A permanent restraining order will be in place after a judge rules that it is necessary based on the grounds mentioned above. If the other party violates any part of the order, contact the police.