Unfortunately, it can become necessary to obtain an order of protection against a spouse or soon-to-be ex. The process can seem a bit overwhelming especially because an abuser uses fear as power. Once a petition is filed for an Order of Protection (often referred to as a PO) a judge will decide whether to issue the order or not based on your statement and evidence. There are a number of reasons a judge will issue an Order of Protection:
If the PO is violated by the abuser, you can file a report with the police and the abuser can be arrested.
Don’t confuse an Order of Protection with a Restraining Order or No-Contact Order. The differences are as follows:
The steps to get an Order of Protection are:
The form (petition) requires you to explain what acts the abuser has committed, detail what he or she did to you physically. You will need to describe threats or physical violence made against you or your child(ren). It is important to note that mental abuse is not a basis for awarding a PO.
It can be extremely difficult for many people to detail the events that led up to filing the PO, but it is very important to detail the abuse to the best of your ability.
If the judge gives you a Temporary Order of Protection, be sure to made several copies of the signed order. Keep a copy with you at all times, because if the police are called they will need to see a copy. If the PO incudes your children, take copies to their school or daycare.
Your abuser will be served a copy of the Temporary Order along with a summons that tells him or her when to come to court.
The Temporary Order of Protection is not valid for more than 30 days from the date it is issued.
It is not necessary to have an attorney file a petition for a Protective Order, but it is recommended particularly if your abuser has an attorney. Kevin Hickey Law Partners will be with you every step of the way during this very difficult time. We will assist you in filing the proper paperwork and help make this process as easy as possible for you.
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