What types of help can an Order of Protection provide?
An Order of Protection, if granted by the Judge, can give you the following relief on a temporary basis (six months to one year):
1. Restrain the abuser from abusing you, threatening to abuse you, or bothering you in any way
2. Restrain the abuser from contacting you or communicating with you, coming to you home, work, school, or other place that the judge writes in the order
3. Grant you custody of any children you have with the abuser
4. Grant visitation with the children: either giving reasonable visitation or denying visitaiton
5. Require the abuser to pay child support for any children you have together
6. Require the abuser to pay spousal support or alimony if you are married to the abuser
7. Grant you possession of the home you live or lived in
8. Restrain the abuser or both of you from transferring or detroying any property that might belong to the other person or that may be marital property
9. Allow you or the other person to get their personal property and restrict either or both people from destroying personal property. The order can also include that either person will have police assistance in getting their personal property.
10. Award attorneys fees to either person if they had to use an attorney in the Order of Protection case
11. Grant you any other relief that you have asked for in your petition--e.g. possession of a specific car, a pet, or any other specific requests that you have that aren't included in the list above.
Please note: This list includes things that are POSSIBLE. The judge makes the ultimate decision of what relief is actually provided, therefore you may or may not be given all the relief you have asked for.
You MUST prove that the abuse happened before a Judge can order any of this relief. Although many survivors' biggest concern is the well-being of their children, survivors should not start talking about their children and wanting custody until after they have discussed the abuse.