What is an Order of Protection?
An Order of Protection is a legal document that provides protection to people that are being abused by family or household members. They are sometimes filed during divorces or as a result of domestic battery, though an active family law case is not a prerequisite.
Who Can An Order of Protection Be Issued Against?
Generally speaking, a victim can seek an Order of Protection against any of the following:
- The victim’s spouse or former spouse.
- Anyone in the victim’s family. This includes anyone the victim is related to through blood or marriage, such as parents, children, and stepchildren.
- Anyone in the victim’s household.
- Anyone the victim has a child with.
- Anyone the victim has a relationship with through a child. An example could be the child’s grandparent.
What Can An Order of Protection Do?
Judges can issue an Order of Protection to protect a victim from an abuser. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Ordering the abuser to stop abusive acts.
- Ordering the abuser to stay away from the victim and all other people protected by the order.
- Ordering the abuser to not contact the victim.
- Ordering the abuser to stay a certain distance away from the victim’s home, school, or work.
- Ordering counseling.
- Requiring a return of property.
- Forcing an abuser to move out of a home shared with the victim.