Filing a Restraining Order in NJ
If you or your children have been the victims of domestic violence, it’s important to act as soon as you can to get yourself and your family to safety. If you fear for your safety or that of your family, you can seek a restraining order preventing the abuser from approaching you or contacting you or your family in any way. Below, we discuss restraining orders and how they operate in New Jersey. For help obtaining, enforcing, or defending against a New Jersey restraining order, call a compassionate New Jersey domestic violence attorney at the Law Office of John B. D’Alessandro in Union.
What Is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is a civil order from the New Jersey family court that puts certain restrictions on how the target of the order can behave. Restraining orders are available for the victims of domestic violence.
In New Jersey, there are two types of restraining orders: temporary and final. When you file a complaint for a restraining order, you can ask for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to go into effect immediately, even if the abuser is not present in court to defend themselves. The court will grant a TRO if they find it necessary to protect your life, health, or well-being. A TRO is effective until a hearing for a final restraining order (FRO) can be held, typically within 10 days. The FRO can remain in effect for years.
What Relief Can You Seek in a Restraining Order?
You can obtain a restraining order that prevents the target from having any contact with you–in person, over the phone, via email, etc.–as well as from having any contact with your children or other family members. You can also seek custody of any children you share with the abuser through a restraining order and seek other appropriate relief, such as possession of a shared vehicle, possession of important documents, and other emergency support.
Who Can Obtain a Restraining Order?
You can obtain a domestic violence restraining order if you either were involved with the defendant romantically, you share a child with the defendant, or you and the defendant currently or previously lived together.
How Do You Obtain a Restraining Order?
You can seek a restraining order at the local family courthouse or police station, typically accompanying a complaint of domestic violence. To obtain a TRO, you’ll need to prove to the court that the defendant committed a predicate act of domestic violence, that they have a history of or propensity for domestic violence (or that the predicate act is extremely severe or egregious), and that the restraining order is necessary to protect your safety and well-being. The defendant will have the opportunity to defend themselves at the final restraining order hearing.
Domestic violence refers to a wide range of conduct committed between people with the predicate relationship (i.e., people who share a child, have or had a romantic relationship, or who now or previously resided together). Domestic violence includes violent conduct such as assault, kidnapping, and sexual assault, as well as stalking, harassment, burglary, robbery, coercion, and other criminal acts.
A seasoned domestic violence attorney can help you get yourself and your children to safety, contact the police and the court, and obtain a restraining order necessary to protect yourself and your family.
Call for Seasoned Legal Advice and Skillful Representation for a New Jersey Domestic Violence Matter
If you have questions about a restraining order or other domestic violence proceeding, or if you are dealing with divorce, alimony, or other family law matters in New Jersey, contact the Law Office of John B. D’Alessandro in Union to discuss your concerns. Our compassionate and dedicated family law attorney is here to advise and represent you on all of your New Jersey family law issues.