What is a restraining order:

To be able to live with safety is one of the most important human rights. The laws of every country provide each citizen the right to guard his or her safety. A restraining order is one such legal tool that can be used to protect oneself against stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and harassment.

How to file for a restraining order:

After a trial, it will be issued by the court. Going to the police station would also help to gain the correct information for pressing charges. If that is not a possibility, then just try to reach a safe place and let some known people do the needful. Information about obtaining a restraining order in cases of domestic violence can be procured from the local family court.

Thereafter, certain legal documents would have to be filed stating the social security number, date of birth, the date when the incident occurred, the names of the witnesses, and any related evidence. If children are also feared to be in danger, a restraining order covering their safety can also be obtained.

Things to consider when filing a restraining order:

In cases of filing for a harassment restraining order, one needs to ensure whether the specific form of harassment can be authenticated legally. A police officer or a lawyer may be able to provide apt guidance with regards to your rights in such circumstances.

After the administration of the preliminary formalities such as filling in forms, a temporary restraining order would be granted, with a legitimacy for a span of 5 to 15 days. A great analysis by the court docket is mandatory before the approval of an everlasting preventing order. Filing for an everlasting order would require professional assistance.

Therefore, it would be beneficial to retain the services of an experienced legal professional for the same. Make contact with the restrained party as of this point may weaken the chance of acquiring a preventing order.

What can be accomplished by a restraining order?

A restraining order can outline parameters that determine how far the respondent must stay away from the petitioner. Custody of mutual children may be determined, as well as possession of the shared residence.

After the hearing in which the respondent is invited to attend, financial support may be ordered by the court, and the respondent may be required to surrender weapons and enroll in a rehabilitative program.

It is important for the petitioner to understand that child custody matters, financial support, and the determination of who can live in the shared residence only lasts as long as the protective order is in effect.

After the restraining order is served on the respondent

The order is in effect once the respondent is served. All information about the respondent’s current whereabouts should be supplied to the court and to law enforcement by the petitioner, including both home and work address, so law enforcement may serve the order.

Record and Report Violations

Once served, the restraining order makes it illegal for the respondent to contact the petitioner directly or indirectly. Should contact occur, the petitioner must notify law enforcement and track the violation report number. Threatening voicemail messages, texts, or emails should be preserved by the respondent as evidence.

Prepare for the Next Hearing

The petitioner will need to describe what led to filing for the original order, and past incidents or threats or violence by the respondent. The court will decide whether to continue the restraining order. Evidence of past threats or abuse should be presented by the petitioner.

Make an Individualized Safety Plan

Keys, money, ID and essential documents should be stored for easy access; along with essential phone numbers should the respondent arrive unexpectedly. The petitioner should be aware of weapons in the home, or objects that could be used as weapons such as scissors, kitchen knives, or other sharp objects.


If you don’t feel strong enough to handle the process on your own, don’t give up. There are many family law attorneys who can help you through the entire process of gaining a restraining order– from walking you through what the law says, to gathering evidence, to helping you through court proceedings. If you need help locating an attorney, contact a domestic abuse hotline or your local court system to help you find quality legal counsel that you can afford.