Domestic violence and other forms of abuse are an unfortunate reality in many relationships in New York. People who are victims of abuse will often not know their alternatives to be protected from a spouse who is committing these acts. It can be difficult to finally take the necessary steps to be protected. However, there are options once the person decides to leave an abusive relationship and seek protection. Many do not know the difference between a temporary protective order and a final protective order. Understanding this is a vital part of being fully protected and getting what the abused person is entitled to.

When there is a temporary protective order, it goes into effect the day the person files for it and even before the other party – the respondent – is served. It will be in place until the next court appearance. In general, the court extends a temporary order until the conclusion of the case when a judge will find that there was a family offense or the other party agrees to the order. Next will be a final order of protection. This will last for two years or five years.

There are certain aspects of a final protective order that can be included. They are restitution, medical expenses and program participation. With restitution, if there was property damage from acts committed by the respondent, he or she can be ordered to pay damages of up to $10,000. The victim must give proof of the value of what was damaged. Medical expenses are for treatment for injuries and conditions that came about from the abuse. With program participation, the respondent can be ordered to take part in services like education programs or be referred for counseling to deal with substance or alcohol problems.

Of all the family law considerations people must face, domestic abuse and allegations related to them are the hardest to address. When safety is a primary concern and other factors are in the equation like knowing where to go, how children will be cared for and what steps to take, it can be overwhelming. For advice on how to be shielded from abuse with a protective order and what a temporary and permanent order can do, having a lawyer is a must and is critical to begin to move on from the situation.