If you are the victim of domestic violence, you do not have to stay in your dangerous and abusive situation. You can call the police, and they will most likely arrest your abuser and charge them with a domestic violence crime, such as assault on a female.
You can also file a civil action to obtain a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) against the person abusing you to stop the abuse. Here is what you will need to do to obtain this order.
What Is a Domestic Violence Protective Order?
A DVPO is also referred to as a restraining order, a 50B order, or a no-contact order. You are eligible for a DVPO if you have a personal relationship with your abuser. A personal relationship includes former or current spouse, domestic partners, or family members.
You may be able to obtain an immediate temporary order for approximately 10 days until a hearing can be held on your request for a permanent no-contact order. To obtain a final order, you would need to prove that your abuser engaged in domestic abuse, non-consensual sexual conduct, or stalking.
A restraining order can give you a wide range of protections, such as:
- Require your abuser to move out of your home and pay your housing expenses
- Prohibit them from having any contact with you or your minor children
- Granting custody of your minor children to you and ordering your abuser to pay child support
- Prohibiting your abuser from following, threatening, or harassing your children or you
Steps You Need to Take to Obtain a Domestic Violence Protective Order
You will need to follow a number of steps to obtain a DVPO. Here’s what you will need to do:
- File petition. You will need to go to the civil court clerk’s office and obtain a DVPO petition form or download it on the Administrative Office of the Courts’ website. You will need to fill out the form completely and sign it in front of a notary public. You must also complete and file a summons ordering abuser to attend a court hearing.
- Ask for a temporary order. When you file your petition, you can check a box on the form and request an ex-parte temporary order that gives you immediate protection from the abuse until a hearing is held on your petition. Once you get the order, you should keep it with you at all times.
- Serve your abuser. You will need to have the petition, ex-parte order, and summons on your abuser by a process server or your local sheriff’s office. You will have to pay the service fee.
- Attend the hearing. The court will schedule a hearing on your request for a DVPO when you file your petition. It should be within 10 days of the date you file your petition. You will need to attend this hearing and prove why you need a permanent protective order.
- Renew Your Order. Your protective order will last for one year. However, you have the option of filing a petition to renew it for an additional year if you do so before the initial order expires.
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