Most people would never imagine themselves in a situation involving domestic violence disputes. But too often, an individual will suffer physical, verbal, or emotional abuse at the hands of someone they care about. This cycle can be incredibly difficult to break — but if and when it is, you may find that you need help from a domestic violence attorney to move forward with your life.
For some, filing a restraining order may be a necessary course of action in order to stay safe. Let’s talk about some situations that may warrant the filing of a restraining order and how to assess whether this is a viable option for your situation.
What Are Some Valid Reasons For Filing a Restraining Order?
In New Jersey, there are a few different types of orders that can be filed against an individual who has done harm to you. Sexual assault protective orders, for example, may be issued to those who are victims of sexual assault or other non-consensual forms of sexual contact. However, these protective orders are intended for those who do not have established intimate relationships with their attackers. Domestic violence restraining orders are meant to be served to a current or former spouse, household member, co-parent, or person involved in an intimate relationship with the victim. In New Jersey, there are also temporary restraining orders (which have an end date) and final restraining orders (which are granted indefinitely).
There are a number of reasons that a person might be advised to file a restraining order. Of course, physical abuse is one of the most obvious. Nearly 20 people in the U.S. are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute, but not all physical abuse looks the same. Physical assault and sexual assault are common reasons, but events like kidnapping, false imprisonment, burglary, criminal trespass, harassment, stalking, cyberharassment, and any other crime that involves the risk of death or serious injury can potentially be a reason to file a restraining order.
How Do I Go About Filing a Restraining Order in NJ?
That said, the unfounded fear of these events isn’t enough to obtain a restraining order. Typically, you’ll need to prove that an act of domestic violence has already occurred in your relationship or that the individual has a documented history of domestic violence. Victims will also need to show that a restraining order is necessary to protect their safety and well-being. For this type of restraining order, it’s also required that you have some kind of intimate connection to the alleged perpetrator; whether you’re relatives who used to live together or you went on a few dates with your abuser, that relationship must be established in order to obtain a restraining order in New Jersey.
Provided that you are eligible to obtain this type of protection, a domestic violence lawyer can assist you in filing a restraining order. Although it isn’t explicitly necessary to secure legal representation in order to get a restraining order, having an attorney’s help can often increase your chances of establishing that you have grounds for the order to be issued. It may also be beneficial to have legal counsel by your side to provide you with valuable resources and a source of strength during this emotionally draining time.
With our experience in this area of legal practice, you’ll be able to reduce stress while safeguarding your well-being. For more information on how we can help during a domestic violence situation, please contact our offices today.