Legal Information Tips

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What are some tips on restraining orders?

Obtaining a restraining order

To be eligible for a restraining order, you, as the petitioner or person who has been abused or threatened must have at least one of the following relationships with the abuser, who is referred to as the respondent by the court:

current or former spouse

related by blood, marriage or adoption

living together in a sexually intimate relationship, now or in the past

in a sexually intimate relationship within the past two years

unmarried parents of a minor child.

In addition, you must have been the victim of abuse or threats of abuse within the last 180 days and be in danger of further abuse

What are some tips on restraining orders?

Important notes regarding restraining orders

(RO = Restraining Order)

The RO is not enforceable until the respondent/abuser is served with it.

As the petitioner, you can not violate your RO, nor can you invalidate the RO by inviting or allowing the respondent/abuser onto the property.

The RO expires automatically one year from the date it is signed unless you renew it.

The police are required to arrest an abuser if he or she assaults you or violates an RO.

A custody award under an RO is temporary and only valid as long as the RO is valid.

The respondent can contest the RO. The court will schedule a hearing if the RO is contested. It is important that you appear at that hearing; if you do not and the respondent does, it is very likely that the RO and other orders will be dismissed.

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Barbara Gibson
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