If your spouse has been physically violent with you, then you may think that leaving the situation and staying with a friend is enough to protect yourself. It would be nice if you were correct, but realistically, some people still suffer at the hands of an abusive spouse even after they have moved out. If you want to keep yourself safe, it's important that you also get a protective order.
Why is a protective order important?
A protective order will prevent your spouse from being within a certain distance of you. The exact guidelines vary by municipality, but it's common for an order to state that the individual cannot be within 300 feet of you.
This means they generally will not be able to be in the same building as you or close enough to even talk to you. As such, your spouse will not be able to harm you physically or harass you in person.
Many protective orders also prohibit the individual from contacting you via phone, the internet, or other means. This can give you a lot of peace of mind; you won't have to worry about them calling and yelling at you in the middle of the night. If your spouse has firearms, the protective order will likely specify that the weapons must be surrendered so you can feel a lot safer if you happen to see them from afar.
Remember, just because your spouse hasn't done more than hit or slap you right now does not mean they aren't capable of more serious violence in the future. Always get a protective order; you're better off being safe than sorry.
How do you get a protective order?
To get a protective order, you need to petition the family court in your county. Your attorney can help you write up a formal request for the protective order.
This request should begin with a brief synopsis of why you feel the order is necessary. Any description of violence should be sufficient.
For example, you could say "my spouse has hit me in the past" or "my spouse has a history of violence." Go on to describe three or four examples of the violence. Some of them can be examples of violence towards others rather than yourself.
The judge will usually deliberate and make the protective order the same day as your hearing. It will go into effect as soon as your spouse is served with papers, which is something the court can handle for you.
If your spouse has been violent in the past, moving out is not enough. Talk to an attorney such as Roseline D. Feral Attorney at Law for assistance with filing a protective order.