Protective orders are legally enforceable directives issued by courts in an effort to keep a person safe from their spouse, significant other, or a third party. Restraining orders and injunctions are other similar terms. Courts issue emergency protective orders 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In most states, a protective order can:

  • Order the alleged offender to stay away from the petitioner and the petitioner’s family and property.
  • Order the alleged offender not to harm the petitioner.
  • Order temporary custody and support of the children to the petitioner.
  • Order an offender not to possess any weapons.

Many attorneys recommend that their clients do not seek protective orders if the parties are seeking a legal separation or divorce. While each case stands and falls on its own merits, when children are involved, there may be different considerations.

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