There are times when someone may not feel safe in his or her own home. If you are living in a hostile domestic situation or you feel like your safety is in jeopardy, you may have grounds to take legal steps that will allow you to regain your sense of security. One of the options available to you is to seek a protective order. It could be useful to you to understand how to pursue this option if you believe that it would be in the interests of you and your children.
Protective orders, also called restraining orders, are designed to prevent contact between specific individuals. There are different types of restraining orders, and they are valid for a designated period of time. In New Jersey, if you have a protective order in place, it will remain so until the next court hearing, even if circumstances have changed. In many cases, these are for the protection of battered spouses or in cases of abuse, threats or intimidation.
How protective orders work
Protective orders can address many different types of activities, from talking in-person to accessing sensitive information. The specific type of protective order you may need for your situation depends on factors that include the nature of the threat, your domestic situation and more. Some of the things that a protective order can specifically prohibit a specific individual from doing include:
- Contacting a specific person
- Coming within a certain distance of a specific school, place of business or residence
- Establishing visitation rights
- Owning or possessing firearms
This type of order may also require someone to relinquish ownership of a pet, attend therapy or counseling sessions, or to maintain child support payments. If a person does not adhere to the terms of a restraining order, he or she could be subject to criminal penalties. An assessment of your specific situation can help you understand how to move forward.
Protecting yourself and your kids
If you believe that a protective order is in the best interests of you and your children, you may benefit from seeking professional guidance regarding the options available to you. This could be a prudent course of action that may allow you to protect yourself, your kids and your peace of mind. Quick action is critical in situations in which a restraining order is necessary.