If you are experiencing spousal abuse, threats or other forms of family violence, you may not know where you can turn to for protection. Although the situation is emotionally difficult, there is a powerful legal tool to help you in New York called an order of protection.
What is an order of protection?
An order of protection (also called a restraining order) is a court order that limits the behavior of someone else. It can protect you against abuse or threats of abuse made by your spouse (whether you are married or divorced) or someone with whom you have a child. Its protection also can cover same-sex couples and other persons that you have an “intimate relationship” with as defined by law.
Under New York law, an “intimate relationship” does not necessarily mean a sexual one. To determine whether your relationship with the abuser is intimate, the court will consider several factors, including how often you see each other and how long you have known one another.
What does an order of protection do?
Orders for protection direct your abuser to stop threatening, injuring or harassing you, your family or any other persons listed in the order. Additionally, this type of order is commonly sought to order the person to:
· Move out of the house
· Cease all contact with you or your children
· Pay child support
· Follow child custody orders
· Not have a gun
If the person that is the subject of the order violates the order’s provisions, he or she faces legal consequences, such as arrest and imprisonment. Additionally, the offender may be held liable for court costs and attorneys’ fees.
Speak to an attorney
Since the process to obtain an order for protection requires a court hearing, it is necessary to present a convincing case in order to be successful. With over 25 years of experience, family law attorney Keith B. Schulefand can work on your behalf to ensure that your rights are protected and give you the greatest chance of a beneficial outcome.