A restraining order is designed to protect those who fear violence, threats of violence, serious harassment or stalking from a named individual. In some situations, people going through a divorce from a violent spouse obtain restraining orders to protect themselves. They are administered by judges. If you are in fear of a person who has abused you, threatened you, sexually assaulted, seriously harassed, or stalked you, you can apply for a temporary restraining order at any time, either on your own or with an attorney representing you.

The rules surrounding filing a complaint are straightforward. While in less emergent situations a hearing will be scheduled for the issuance of a final restraining order, a temporary ex parte restraining order can be requested. If the judge overseeing your complaint believes that issuing this type of order so immediately is necessary for your protection, it will be awarded based solely on the emergent information you or your representative provides.

One reason that it makes sense to have an attorney represent you when you seek the protection of a temporary restraining order is that they can very effectively communicate your situation to the judge.  In many cases, a person seeking protection is fearful of being physically present. In these cases, an effective attorney will both convince the judge that it would be harmful for you to e present, and to issue a temporary restraining order based on your sworn testimony or complaint being presented by your attorney.

Even if you are able to appear before a judge when seeking protection, getting your message across effectively can be a challenge if you are in an emotional or fearful state. It is especially hard if the person you seek protection from is either intimidating you or has their own attorney, and as much as they may want to help, courthouse officials cannot act on your behalf or give you legal advice. Even though it isn’t required, it is a good idea to have experienced legal representation and guidance.

Once a temporary restraining order has been issued, its protections will be in place until you are able to have a full hearing scheduled. Scheduling usually takes several days. At that hearing, both you and the person you want restrained will be heard, and you will both be able to present your case. This is most effectively done with the assistance of an attorney who will help you with testimony, presentation of evidence and coordinating witnesses.

If you are considering divorce and feel you are in need of protection or need information about obtaining a temporary restraining order, we can help. Contact us today to set up a time for a consultation.

 

 

 

 

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