If you suffered domestic violence at the hands of your spouse, you may be able to request a restraining order. Restraining orders protect abuse victims by restricting the other person from contacting or showing up near them.
The restraining order may keep you safe, but it can also complicate your divorce.
Requesting a restraining order
First, you request a temporary restraining order. Go to the police station or courthouse where the domestic abuse occurred to fill out the application. If granted a temporary restraining order, your spouse cannot contact you or come within a specified distance of you. If he or she contacts you, it can result in jail time. The restraining order remains temporary until you can go before a judge and receive a permanent restraining order.
Navigating the divorce process
Once granted a restraining order, your spouse cannot engage with you. You may not be able to meet to discuss the divorce proceedings or to ensure that you protect each person’s interests. A history of violence between you and your spouse can complicate your ability to work together or to agree on various issues.
However, you do not have to put yourself in danger to go through the proceedings. Instead, you can have a third-party negotiate on your behalf or utilize the court system to create a divorce decree for you. You do not have to meet with your spouse during the divorce.
When it comes to divorcing someone who committed domestic violence against you, you should always protect your safety first.