When fighting in a relationship escalates, it can be dangerous. If one party is concerned for his or her safety, he or she may request a restraining order.
If you receive notification of a domestic violence restraining order, it is important to respond appropriately.
Understanding the orders
A restraining order is more than just a document telling you to stay away from someone. It may contain additional orders, such as:
- Paying child or spousal support
- Following a child custody or visitation plan
- Moving out of a shared home
If you own a gun, you must turn it in to local law enforcement or bring it to a licensed firearms dealer to store or sell it.
Filing a response
If you disagree with the order, you can file a response. You must do this before your hearing. In your response, you can tell the court why you disagree and what order you think would be fair.
If you are concerned about your safety, you can request a restraining order against the other person. You can not do this as part of your response; you must file your request separately.
Attending the hearing
You will receive a notice stating the date and location of your hearing. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant the restraining order.
A restraining order can remain in place for up to five years and may affect child custody and visitation. Whether or not you file a response, it is essential that you attend the hearing and have an opportunity to tell your side of the story.
How you respond to a restraining order can determine the direction of your domestic violence case. While emotions run high during this time, making responsible choices can improve your chances for a positive outcome.