Protective Order

Two Ugly Words: Protective Order

One of the most common requests among family lawyers is the demand a protective order.  The reasons are as diverse and colorful as you can imagine.  Often a spouse wants to retaliate against the other after being served with papers.  Sometimes, papers aren’t even filed yet and a spouse discovers infidelity, or financial problems, etc.  The important thing to remember is that just because you want one doesn’t mean a court will grant a protective order.

Some Housekeeping Items:

There are many different flavors of ‘restraining’ or ‘protective’ order and it’s important to distinguish between them because each has different requirements and consequence and you don’t want to argue for something you don’t want or need.

Let’s focus on the most common type of order in divorces: Emergency Protective Orders.  This is a legal document that protects a victim of abuse who is also in a close relationship to the abuser.  Who can get a protective order?  Jurisdictions vary but in general you must satisfy the following requirements: