Can a Restraining Order Protect Me from My Ex?

Walking away from a marriage is often difficult. The fears surrounding such action multiply when the other spouse is abusive. Controlling partners might make you feel like you can never escape the relationship. If you did, you wouldn’t be able to make it on your own.

The physical and mental games they play can stop you in your tracks. Their tactics are based on their own need for domination and fear of losing control.

If you are fearful of your partner, protect yourself with a restraining order in New York.

Qualifying for a Restraining Order

An order of protection, also referred to as a restraining order, restricts the behavior of someone who harms or threatens to harm another person. New York provides multiple ways to obtain a restraining order. Some circumstances offer the opportunity to seek a restraining order on multiple fronts. All orders of protection are powerful tools designed to protect you from a dangerous person.

There are three avenues to obtain a restraining order:

  • Family Court
  • Supreme Court
  • Criminal Court

To get a civil order of protection in New York Family Court, you must be related by blood or marriage, be in an intimate relationship, or have a child in common with your abuser.

Specific crimes are considered family offenses and eligible for protection:

  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Menacing
  • Reckless Endangerment
  • Assault
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Strangulation
  • Coercion

At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, we can file the necessary petition in Family Court and argue the need for the order in subsequent hearings.

A civil order of protection can also be issued by the Supreme Court as part of an ongoing divorce. In these cases, your attorney either makes a written request by Motion or Order to Show Cause or delivers an oral request at a court appearance.

Criminal court issues protective orders if a judge determines your safety is at risk in a criminal case. These orders, requested by the district attorney, are sometimes issued as a condition of a defendant’s release or bail to protect the victim of the crime or a witness.

Temporary vs. Final Order of Protection

A Family Court judge can issue a temporary order if they believe there is good cause to do so. The temporary order is short-term protection until a full hearing can be conducted. In the full hearing, the abuser will be able to present their side. Based on testimony and evidence, the judge will decide whether to issue a final order. If the abuser is a no-show at the hearing, the judge will issue a default judgment and issue the final order.

A final order is in place for one or five years, but the court can issue extensions. A limited order can allow the subject to maintain some contact with you. A full order requires them to stay away from your home, work, school, and other regularly visited locations.

An order of protection can direct your abuser to do the following:

  • Stay away from you and your children
  • Move out of your home
  • Follow custody orders
  • Pay child support
  • Not have a gun

The judge has discretion on what terms and conditions to include in the order. Any order issued in New York will be recognized if you move to another state.

Violating a Restraining Order

No matter which court issues the order of protection, violating any provision in the order is a crime. If your ex violates an existing order, call 9-1-1 and the police will arrest them. Infractions of a Family Court Protective Order can also be filed in Family Court, but they might not be arrested. They can be charged with criminal contempt as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction can lead to jail time and/or a fine.

Take Steps to Protect Yourself

Domestic violence rarely corrects itself. No matter how much you hope the other person will change their ways, the violence often escalates.

Don’t try to solve the problem on your own. Our lawyers are experienced in New York domestic violence law. We have the background to best present your case before a judge.

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. The New York Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence also offers 24/7 live chat. You can also call 800-942-6906 or text 844-997-2121 for confidential support.

To understand the next steps in seeking a restraining order, schedule a consultation by calling (845) 605-4330 or completing our online form.

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