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Getting started with an Order of Protection

Orders of Protection can be extremely helpful to people who are in violent or tumultuous relationships. Someone who wants to seek a divorce but who fears their spouse or who wants to protect their children against abuse may turn to the court to seek an Order of Protection.

You may petition for an Order of Protection in only a few kinds of cases.

The first is if you have been abused by a family member or other person in the household. You may also petition for this protection order if you are being abused by someone you used to live with or who is the parent of your child.

The second time you can petition for an Order of Protection is if you are filing for someone who may not file for their own and who was also abused by a family or household member. This might include your children, as an example, since they are under the age of 18.

Who can you turn to when you need to seek an Order of Protection?

In an emergency situation, the right thing to do is to call the police directly or to dial 911. You can call for assistance if you are in an emergency situation or may want to call if you have been threatened. For instance, if your spouse called and said they were going to come home and hurt you, it would be reasonable to call 911 or to go to the police station.

After you do this, you may want to reach out to your attorney to seek an Order of Protection, though the police may be able to help you get started with a temporary order. A petition for an Order of Protection needs to be submitted to the court.

You have a right to feel safe in your home and in your relationship

If you are at risk because of a violent or dangerous partner, housemate or other party, you should call for assistance. You have a right to seek an Order of Protection to protect yourself and others who may be at risk because of their behaviors.

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