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Understanding the different types of protective orders

No relationship is perfect, but no relationship should involve abuse. When a spouse is dealing with an incident or a cycle of domestic abuse, it is important to understand there are potential legal protections. It is possible to use protective orders to address the added harm caused by a high conflict divorce or a child custody battle. Ending a violent or abusive relationship can be a traumatic experience. However, there are tools available to spouses who are seeking added protection while they deal with the legal issues associated with the end of their relationship or marriage.

When domestic abuse exists in a relationship, it is possible to take steps to obtain a protective order. The idea behind this order is to protect a victim from further abuse. There are four types of protective orders and, depending on the situation, one may serve an individual more than another.

The first is an emergency protective order. When police are involved in a domestic violence situation, they can issue an emergency protection order for a victim. This order lasts of a limited period, which is typically for three to seven days. The next type is a protection order. This order can last for one to five years and can include provisions based on the terms needed by the victim to feel safe from further abuse. It can include a no contact provision, peaceful contact, stay away provision, move out provision, firearms provision and counseling provision.

The third type is a restraining order. This is an order that requires parties to a lawsuit to do or to not do something. These may be requested "ex parte" - meaning that the other side doesn't necessarily get a chance to comment prior to the order being issued. However, the other party is permitted to a hearing after an ex parte order is granted. The final order is criminal protection order. This order is available if a criminal case is pending and the judge believes the victim requires protection.

A domestic abuse situation is a serious matter, and individuals involved in a relationship or marriage that includes domestic violence should understand that there are options available to them. Whether or not children are involved, it is important to understand how a restraining order will impact you in the future, especially if a divorce is progressing. Ensuring you and possibly your children are protected is a vital step to take.

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