The Many Facets of Restraining Orders and Divorce

While there are many reasons why a married couple may seek a divorce, ranging from lifestyle changes to irreconcilable differences, one unfortunately common reason is domestic abuse or violence. According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, millions of men and women suffer from abuse at the hands of their partner or significant other. While many of these people do not seek a divorce, there are some that feel that divorce is the best, or only, way to escape the abuse.

Seeking a divorce in such a situation can be extremely helpful; however, divorces often take a long time to successfully complete, especially if children are involved. Additionally, while a divorce does separate two people, it does not guarantee that the abuser will not come into contact with or find a way to continue abusing the other person. In such a situation, a person suffering from domestic violence or abuse may need to take further action to protect themselves and their loved ones.

For anyone being subjected to physical harassment, verbal abuse, abuse at home, or other forms of intimate partner violence, one of the best ways to seek protection from the abusive party is to file a restraining order. When a court grants a restraining order, the restraining order will provide stipulations that the party whom the order is directed at must follow. Some provisions that a restraining order can have include the following:

  • Keeping the abuser away from the abused person, their home, place of work, and other important places
  • Preventing contact between the two parties, including phone calls, delivery of gifts, letters, and more
  • Stopping any physical abuse or threats of violence

While restraining orders are usually very helpful for people seeking to escape abuse, particularly before a divorce is granted, there are times when the use of a restraining order is abused itself. In such circumstances, one party may file a restraining order against their partner in order to gain power or leverage over them in a divorce. Because of the effects, both positive and negative, that a restraining order can have, when looking to either file for a restraining order or to fight a restraining order that was inappropriately granted, many people choose to enlist the support of a qualified divorce lawyer in order to give themselves the best chance of reaching the outcome they desire.