When domestic violence and abuse threaten your safety or the safety of your children, seeking protection and getting out of the abusive situation is critical. Typically, seeking an emergency or temporary order of protection will be necessary.
Once a temporary protective order has been issued, it will remain in effect until a formal hearing can occur. Generally, the hearing will:
- Be scheduled to occur within 10 days of the protective order being served to the alleged abuser
- Give the alleged victim and the alleged abuser the opportunity to present their case before the family court judge.
If the family (civil) court finds that domestic violence has occurred, it can extend the terms of the protective order or issue a permanent order of protection. While the exact terms of these orders can vary from case to case, they commonly prohibit the perpetrator of domestic violence from:
- Contacting the victims in person or by phone or email
- Living in or visiting the family home
- Coming within a certain distance of the victim’s workplace and/or school.
Please be aware that a finding of domestic violence in civil court will not necessarily trigger criminal charges against the alleged abuser. If it does, however, the case will proceed in criminal court, independent of the family law case.