In some difficult divorce cases, you may require legal protection from a violent or abusive spouse or former spouse. Nearly 10 million women and men are physically abused by an intimate partner every year in the U.S., according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
When you are in danger of abuse, you have a right to a legal order of protection, also known as a protective restraining order. How do you get a legal protective order in New Hampshire? The process of obtaining your restraining order will be a lot less distressing when you have the help and support of an experienced attorney.
According to New Hampshire law (Chapter 173-B. Protection of Persons from Domestic Violence), the definition of abuse is when a family or household member, or current or former sexual or intimate partner commits or tries to commit one of certain crimes against you, and the behavior causes a present threat to the your safety. These crimes include assault, criminal threatening, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, destruction or threat of destruction to your property, criminal trespass, burglary, harassment, or cruelty to animals.
To obtain your order of protection from a court, you need to submit a notarized form providing information and describing why you need the order. Three types of protective orders are described by womenslaw.org:
- If you are in immediate danger of domestic violence and the court is closed, call or go to the police, who will help you fill out the required forms and telephone a judge, who will issue your temporary (emergency) ex parte protective order. Your temporary order of protection remains in force until the end of the next business day that the court is open.
- When you go to court to file for a protective order, if the judge believes there is an immediate, present danger of abuse, you can get a temporary ex parte protective order that will protect you until you have a full hearing.
- Your final protection order requires a court hearing, where you and the abuser have a right to be present, and present testimony and evidence. Your attorney will prepare you for your court appearance. The purpose of the hearing is for the court to determine whether family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future. It can be frightening or intimidating to go before a court, but you are the one who knows the abuser and the situation best, and your lawyer will walk you through the process. The final order will last one year unless otherwise specified, and can be extended depending upon your circumstances.
The seasoned family law and divorce lawyers at the McGrath Law Firm, founded by attorney Peter McGrath, will walk you through every step of the challenging divorce process to address your concerns and achieve your goals as efficiently as possible. From spousal support, child support, fault, and equitable division of property and debt to valuations, pre-nuptial agreements, and restraining orders, the experienced attorneys at McGrath Law Firm have a successful track record in all aspects of divorce law. Call us to schedule your consultation at (800) 283-1380.