The Family Court can issue a domestic violence restraining order to protect a victim of domestic violence upon submission of a Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (form DV-100) and the related additional forms. This is a family law remedy used to address acts of abuse, which is separate from, and potentially in addition to, an Emergency Protective Order or a Criminal Protective Order.
An Emergency Protective Order (referred to as an “EPO”) can be issued by law enforcement, upon their discretion, and is based on the circumstances of the abuse. An EPO is a short-term order.
A Criminal Protective Order (referred to as a “CPO”) can be issued by the District Attorney’s office, upon their discretion, and is based on the circumstances of the abuse.
A Family Court judicial officer can issue a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (referred to as a “DVRO”) based on acts of physical violence, threats of violence, sexual assault, destruction of personal property and/or harassment.
To qualify for a DVRO through the Family Court, the relationship between the victim and the abuser must arise from one (or more) of the following:
- Present or former marriage or domestic partnership;
- The parties live together or used to live together;
- The parties are related by blood, marriage or adoption;
- The parties are dating or used to date;
- The parties are engaged to be married or were engaged; and/or
- The parties have a child/children under the age of 18.
Completing the various forms required to successfully request a DVRO through the Family Court can be overwhelming, especially in a time of turmoil, fear and stress.
We are experienced family law attorneys who have successfully assisted clients in obtaining a DVRO for their protection. We can evaluate whether the circumstances you are facing may qualify you for a DVRO, explain your legal rights and carefully guide you through the process. We can also refer you to a domestic violence shelter in your county of residence, if necessary. For more information about your options, contact us for a free phone consultation.