When you are involved in a marital relationship or a relationship comprised of unmarried parents, there are legal tools that can be used to protect you from the cycle of violence. Many domestic abuse victims feel isolated and hopeless after being victimized by acts of domestic abuse, which include spousal rape, domestic battery, assault and other forms of family violence. However, acts of violence against a spouse or co-parent occur in households involving people from all walks of life, and all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. Restraining orders along with other remedies available to spouses and co-parents in family court offer alternatives to violence in the form of protection from your abuser and financial support.
The initial step in seeking court ordered relief from domestic violence is to obtain a NJ Temporary Restraining Order. This form of emergency relief can be obtained at your local police station or the family law division of your county Superior Court. If you are facing an emergency on a Saturday or Sunday, you should apply for a temporary restraining order at the police department. An experienced NJ domestic violence attorney can assist you with this emergency paperwork, but you can also wait until you have the emergency order and then retain a New Jersey family law attorney to help you prepare for the hearing on a final restraining order. If you must make an emergency request outside of court hours through the police department that is denied by the judge, you can reapply directly to the court during court operating hours.
When preparing a request for a temporary restraining order and/or final restraining order, it is important to meticulously document the incidents of domestic violence to which you have been subjected. The paperwork should be detailed and specific regarding the precise acts of violence, threats to cause harm and other forms of abuse to which you have been subjected rather than just offering generalities. If your temporary restraining order is granted, the judge may impose a number of restrictions that may include:
- An injunction that prohibits your abuser from coming within a certain distance from your person
- A stay away order that prevents your abuser from contacting you at home, work, school other location
- An order prohibiting contact with other protected parties, which may include your children
- Prohibition on contacting the victim by mail, email, text message, telephone or any other form of communication
Our New Jersey divorce lawyers at the Micklin Law Group understand that many people feel trapped especially if they have been victims of a pattern of abuse over a prolonged period. Many who have suffered physical abuse, intimidation and threats of harm at the hands of a perpetrator of domestic violence may feel that there are no viable alternatives to violence because of concerns about child custody or financial concerns. However, a NJ family law judge also may grant temporary custody orders and temporary financial support until it can be formally handled in your divorce action.
If the temporary restraining orders are granted, the court will schedule a final restraining order hearing. Typically, this hearing will be scheduled approximately ten days following the hearing on temporary restraining orders. At the hearing on the final restraining orders, the court will consider formal court testimony by you, your abuser and other relevant witnesses. The prospect of testifying under oath in a formal hearing against your abuser can be extremely daunting, but our experienced New Jersey family law attorneys can help prepare you for the hearing and represent you in front of the New Jersey family law judge.