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Do I Need a Restraining Order in My Divorce Case?

NY Orders of Protection in Divorce Matters

A common misconception about restraining orders, also called orders of protection, is that there must be a threat or presence of domestic violence. In divorce cases, however, that’s not entirely true.

It doesn’t take much to implement a restraining order against someone. One spouse may claim that the other spouse has anger issues or began abusing alcohol during their divorce, and a court may issue an order of protection without requiring any evidence. Since divorces are notoriously complicated, emotional and tense, a family court judge may easily believe that a restraining order is necessary without needing much convincing.

There are several reasons besides domestic abuse that a spouse may file a restraining order against the other:

  • Fear that a spouse will remove their children from the home or state of New York
  • Protect their bank and retirement accounts from getting emptied
  • Prevent their shared assets from getting sold
  • Ensure the other spouse doesn’t cancel or revise shared insurance policies

Since restraining orders are so easy to obtain, it’s important to understand what they are and how they may impact you. Some examples include:

  • Prohibited access to your children
  • Moving out of your home
  • Following custody orders
  • Paying child support
  • Not being allowed to have a gun

Three Types of Restraining Orders in NY

New York recognizes three types of orders of protection:

Family Court order of protection: This is issued as part of a civil proceeding. Its purpose is to stop violence within a family, or within an intimate relationship and provide protection for those individuals affected.

Criminal court order of protection: This is issued as a condition of a defendant’s release and/or bail in a criminal case. A criminal court order of protection may only be issued against a person who has been charged with a crime. If your spouse was accused of a crime before or during your divorce and you identify as a victim of domestic abuse, a criminal court restraining order may be applicable.

Supreme Court order of protection: If you have an ongoing divorce case and would like to request an order of protection, you may make a written or oral request to the court, or your attorney may do so on your behalf. The judge decides whether to issue the order of protection and what terms and conditions will be included.

Deciding whether an order of protection is necessary in your divorce is not an easy subject to consider. If you have children, this decision may be especially difficult even if you feel it’s necessary. To mitigate the complexities and risks involved in this sensitive matter, we suggest you consult with our Dutchess County restraining order lawyers as soon as possible.

Our team is qualified to help you make an informed and effective decision. Contact (845) 605-4330 to get started.