Restraining orders are court orders directing a person not to engage in certain behavior.  A protective order is usually a short way of saying a Domestic Violence Protective Order (“DVPO”), a specific type of restraining order that is intended to protect victims of domestic violence.  In addition to targeting domestic violence through a DVPO, restraining orders can be issued to prevent a non-abusive spouse from draining marital bank accounts, from speaking negatively about the spouse in front of the children, or a number of other acts that would be damaging to the parties or their children.

While either a DVPO or a restraining order can initially be obtained without notice to the other person, there is always a right to a hearing to determine whether a protective order or restraining order should remain in place.

Talk to your attorney about obtaining a DVPO if you are concerned about the safety of you children or yourself or if there has been a history of domestic violence.   The violation of a protective order is a criminal offense which can result in immediate arrest.

If you are concerned that your spouse will do thinks that will cause irreparable harm to you, your family or the marital estate after your divorce complaint is filed, ask your lawyer about a restraining order.  If your spouse violates the restraining order, he or she may be brought before the court for contempt.

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