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Domestic violence: Is a restraining order necessary?

There are a number of situations in which one may have to consider applying for a protective or restraining order.  One important point to consider is that there are several different types of orders. The conditions mentioned in an order required in cases of domestic violence will differ from the conditions found in a restraining order against a stalker. Minnesota victims of domestic violence may benefit of taking cognizance of the information below regarding protective orders.

Generally, there are four main types of protective orders, each set up in accordance with state and local law. In each instance, the time within which one has to make the decision to apply for a protective order may also vary. An emergency protective order is typically issued in cases where an arrest is made in domestic violence cases. These orders are given by a magistrate or police officer, sometimes automatically, but they are often only enforceable for a few days.

While these emergency orders are only enforceable for a short time period, an application must be made for an order valid for a longer period. These longer-term orders can either be restraining or protection orders. Restraining orders are filed as part of civil cases, such as divorce. These orders restrict the actions of certain parties for the duration of the divorce process, but may also be made more permanent.

Protective orders require of the victims to file the required papers and give evidence in a court hearing. Once the order is granted, it will be necessary to ensure that it is served on the other party. Protection orders are renewable if the threat is still feared. The last type of protective order involves criminal protection orders and are only relevant in criminal cases.

Minnesota victims of domestic abuse may benefit from the knowledge that while there is no time limit before filing a restraining order, the quicker one acts the better for one's own safety.  An experienced family law attorney is in the ideal position to provide advice on obtaining a restraining order, after evaluating the threat posed. Victims of domestic violence should not hesitate to contact a lawyer, particularly if there is concern that the situation may escalate once the abused party files for divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "When Is It Too Late to Request a Restraining Order?", Christopher Coble, Accessed on May 23, 2018

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