What Does A Restraining Order DO

 

If you are a victim of domestic violence, a judge can sign an Order of Protection that requires the abuser to obey the law. The order is very specific in as far as what the abuser can and can’t do.

 

  • The abuser can be ordered not to have any contact with you, in person or by phone, at home, work, or almost anywhere you ask the court to put in the order. The order against contact may also protect other people in your family. 
  • The court can order the abuser to leave the house or apartment that you and the abuser share; even if it is in the abuser’s name. 
  • Except in unusual situations, the court will grant you custody of your minor children. In some states the court can also order the abuser to pay child support and support for you. The abuser may also be granted visitation with the child/children under certain conditions. If the children are in danger of abuse, you should let the judge know why you think so. 
  • In some states the court may also order the abuser to pay for costs that resulted from the abuse, for example; household bills that are due right away, medical/dental treatment, moving expenses, loss of earnings. The judge can also make the abuser pay your attorney’s fees, and can make the abuser pay damages to you or other people that helped you or got hurt by the abuser. 
  • The judge may order the abuser to receive professional domestic violence counseling, or tell the abuser to get evaluated, or to go to AA or NA. You can agree to go to counseling if you want to (or to a free program like AA, AlAnon, or a domestic violence program), but the judge should only make it an order for the abuser. 
  • The judge can order the police to escort the abuser to remove personal items from the residence, or shared place of business, so that you are protected by the police during any necessary contact. 
  • The judge has the power under the law to order anything else that will help to protect you, as long as you agree to it. 
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