How do I get a restraining order against the father of my youngest daughter?
Contested divorce cases often require a restraining order. However, child custody disputes between couples are not sufficient to warrant a restraining order if physical threats, abuse or violent acts are not part of the charges. Divorce courts will look carefully at your case to determine if it warrants a restraining order. Children in divorce are sometimes used to punish one of the parents by denying shared custody or visitation. Child custody battles are terrible for the children in divorce.
You can file a restraining order against a family member, a spouse or domestic partner, a current or former household member or a person you are dating or have dated. There is no fee to file the order and you are not required to have an attorney. The Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) only covers physical threats, abuse and violent acts. It cannot be issued for mental or emotional abuse.
In North Carolina a restraining order is called a “protective order” and also a “50B order”. 50B refers to the statute that provides for this law. You may also hear it referred to as a “Domestic Violence Protective Order.
1) Go to the office of the clerk of civil court or to the magistrate’s office in the courthouse in your judicial districtto get the forms you need. Tell them you need to file a restraining order.
2) Fill out the complaint form. You are the plaintiff and the abuser is the defendant. Summarize they most recent abuse you or your daughter has suffered. Be specific. Provide dates and be sure to state whether your abuser possesses firearms.
NOTE: You can also request an ex parte/temporary protective order by checking a box on the complaint form. You can obtain this order without the abuser being present for a hearing. You will go before the judge that day and tell the judge why you or your daughter is in danger. It takes effect immediately after being granted. Keep this paper with you at all times and leave copies with your employer and your daughter’s school or daycare.
3) Fill out the summons. Your abuser must be served the complaint and summons. Include the abusers contact information. The county sheriff’s office will serve the complaint and summons. The sheriff’s office will also serve the notice of hearing and a copy of the ex parte order.
4) Attend the hearing. You will be given a date and time for the hearing on your protective order at the time you complete the complaint and summons. The hearing date will be within 10 days of filing your complaint. Ideally you will have an attorney representing you at this hearing. You will need to show that the abused has committed an act of abuse against you or your daughter. If the court determines this has happened, the court must grant the order.
If you fail to attend the hearing, your ex parte order will expire. You will need to file a new complaint and summons if you wish to pursue the case.
Call The Law Office of Stephen M. Corby today for a consultation. We can help you through these steps—from completing the forms to representing you at your hearing.