If you are in an abusive marriage, you may want to consider obtaining an Order of Protection, especially if you have children in the home. What is an Order of Protection exactly and what can it do? It is a court order, prohibiting an abuser from threatening or harming another person. In domestic violence cases, an Order of Protection usually orders a husband or wife to stop hurting their spouse or children, or both.
In New York, Orders of Protection can be issued by the Family Courts, the Criminal Courts, and by the Supreme Courts. If you are seeking an Order of Protection against your husband or wife and the court issues one, it can order your spouse not to injure, threaten, or harass you or your children, or anyone else who you list in the order, such as your mother or your concerned next-door neighbor.
What an Order of Protection can do:
- Order the abuser to stay away from you.
- Order the abuser to stay away from your children.
- Order the abuser to move out of the house.
- Direct the abuser to pay child support.
- Prohibit the abuser from possessing or owning a firearm.
Since we specialize in divorce and family law, most of our clients seek an Order of Protection through the Family Court, which issues the Order as part of a civil proceeding. The purpose of the Order is to stop the family violence and to protect the affected family members, which is often the wife and children, but it can be the husband and children instead if the wife is violent.
If you're interested in obtaining an Order of Protection through the Family Court, the abuser must be your spouse, a former spouse, someone who you have a child with, someone who you are related to through blood or marriage, or someone who you've had an intimate relationship with, which doesn't have to be sexual.
If you obtain an Order of Protection and the abuser violates the order, you have every right to call the police. It's against the law to violate an Order of Protection, so the law is on your side. The violator doesn't have to touch you to be in violation; if the Order says he or she can't come near you and they show up at your doorstep, you can call 911.
To learn more about Orders of Protection and how they can help you, contact our firm to meet with a Long Island divorce attorney!