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Do I Need a Restraining Order?

When a separation or divorce becomes volatile with the potential for a violent confrontation, you might need a restraining order. A restraining order prohibits the person who is threatening you or your children from approaching or contacting you.

What can a restraining order do?

If someone is threatening you with physical harm, you can ask a judge to issue an order of restraint. A temporary order becomes effective immediately. If the offending party violates the order, he or she can be arrested on sight. The restraining order says precisely how far away the party needs to stay from you and for how long. Some orders prevent the offender from contacting you or your children in any way, including by phone, email or through a third party.

How do I get a restraining order?

Your attorney can assist you in acquiring a restraining order. You can also apply for a restraining order by yourself. The process can take several hours. If you require protection after the county offices are closed, there is a process for obtaining an emergency restraining order.

Protecting your children

If your children are also being threatened, notify these parties that a restraining order exists:

  • School principal and classroom teacher
  • Day care provider
  • Babysitters
  • After-school program leaders
  • Neighbors

Any person who might be in charge of your children should be instructed to call the police immediately if the threatening party approaches them.

If you continue to feel threatened even with the injunction, your attorney might suggest that you relocate, at least temporarily.

No restraining order can completely protect you from a violent person, but often the threat of legal action is enough to deter an angry ex from escalating to violence. If you require assistance in this matter, a Florida divorce attorney is available to help you.

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