Although courts issue restraining orders for a number of reasons, many are the result of claims of domestic violence, and a divorce is often involved.
A temporary restraining order is a serious matter. If you violate the order, you can face criminal charges and the possibility that the temporary order will become permanent.
Understanding the temporary restraining order
A temporary restraining order usually precedes a hearing because there is a sense of urgency. The victim who requests the order feels that the defendant poses a threat. The victim must sign an affidavit stating that he or she is at risk of “immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage” from the other party. There is a time limit of 14 days for the temporary restraining order, although, with approval, it can be extended for an additional 14 days.
Violating the restraining order
As the recipient of a restraining order, you must abide by the terms. You will have an opportunity to present your side of the complaint along with any supporting evidence. If you violate the order against you, you may face serious consequences such as having to serve time in jail.
Facing a permanent restraining order
If warranted, a permanent restraining order will occur following a hearing and trial. This kind of order can remain in force for a few weeks or indefinitely. It can be modified, extended or renewed. A judge can lift a permanent restraining order but only after determining it is in the best interests of any children involved as well as the applicant.
Defending your rights
Although you may have a restraining order against you, remember that you have rights. Legal counsel can help you understand those rights and build a defense strategy showing that you have honored the provisions of the restraining order and never violated the terms.