Protection Orders for Women

Women’s Rights Lawyers Providing Strong Legal Representation in Obtaining Protection Orders for Women

A protection order can help keep you safe if you are experiencing domestic abuse. No woman should suffer abuse, and it is important to take decisive action. It isn’t easy to seek help, but when you have the support of an experienced family law attorney, you will have the support you need to move forward.

If you are in immediate danger, then you should contact the police straight away. Once the immediate danger has passed, you should speak to a family law attorney who can take steps to protect you and your family.

At WSM, we represent women exclusively. We believe that this gives us a unique ability to meet women’s needs and support them so that they ensure a safe and stable future.

As a woman, you have powerful constitutional rights. If you have suffered abuse, we can help you file a protection order which will keep your spouse away from you and your children. We will then work to ensure that the Judge understands the extent of your experiences. If you are fighting for divorce or child custody, we will ensure that the abuse is considered at every stage.

The attorneys at WSM share a single vision – to support women through family law matters and restore their confidence.

We know how to work with an abusive spouse and will set clear boundaries to ensure that your voice is heard.

Contact us today at 380-212-3731 to arrange a free consultation with a dedicated family law attorney for women. 

Our representation extends to women in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas.

 A mom holding her two kids on the couch with a blanket wrapped around them.

What is a Protection Order?

A protection order is an official court order that is issued by a Judge. A protection order orders an abuser to stop specific actions to help keep the victim safe.

A protection order could stop someone from contacting you, coming to your home or workplace, threatening you, or hurting you.

To protect your children or other family and household members, a protection order could be issued for up to five years and can also include provisions.

Obtaining a protection order could be the first step in separating from your spouse. It can give you the time and space you need to evidence your claims to a Judge, make important decisions, and fight for things like a fair division of property, child support, and child custody.

Who Can File For a Protection Order?

You can file for a protection order if a family member, intimate partner, or former internment partner is abusing you, including physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or threats.

It is also possible to file for a protection order against someone you have never had an intimate relationship with if they have abused you.

If you are dealing with a family matter, then an attorney from WSM can help. We will help you decide whether a protection order is right for you and will work with you to determine the correct type of order to file for. We will then work with you to separate your life from your abuser.

A mother crying and holding her child close to her.

Protection Orders By State

While there are some commonalities between states, such as the general purpose of protective orders, the specific requirements for obtaining a protective order, the types of protective orders available, and the procedures for enforcing them can differ.

For example, some states may have different definitions for what constitutes domestic violence or abuse, which can affect the criteria for obtaining a protective order. Additionally, the length of time a protective order remains in effect can vary between states. Some states may allow protective orders to be extended beyond the initial duration, while others may require the individual seeking protection to reapply for a new order.

In some states, a protective order may also include provisions related to child custody or visitation, whereas in other states, this may require a separate legal proceeding. The specific requirements for enforcement, penalties for violation, and other procedural details can also vary between states.

Before seeking a protective order in a state, it is crucial to learn the laws and procedures related to protective orders there. Consulting with a local attorney can also provide guidance and support during the process.

Protection Orders For Women in Ohio

There are different types of protection orders in Ohio, including temporary, civil, and criminal protection orders. Which one you can file for will depend upon your relationship with the abuser, the type of abuse you have suffered, the abuser’s age, and whether there is an ongoing criminal case.

  • Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order –  This type of order protects family members and other household members from abuse, including parents, children, ex-spouses, and spouses.
  • Dating Violence Civil Protection Orders – If you are dating someone who is abusing you, but you do not live with them, then this order may be more appropriate.
  • Civil Stalking Protection Orders and Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Orders – These types of order protects victims of sexual abuse. A specific relationship with your abuser is not a requirement for this type of order.
  • Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order – If you have suffered abuse from family or household members, then you may be able to file for a domestic violence protective order as part of a criminal case.
A woman sitting and shielding her face as a man angrily clinches his fist.

Protection Order VS. Restraining Order in Ohio

In Ohio, protection orders and restraining orders are different. While a restraining order is always a part of another legal case, such as a divorce, a protection order can be filed separately.

If you are navigating a divorce in Ohio, then a restraining order could prevent your ex-spouse from taking action while the divorce is in the process, such as preventing them from selling the family home.

The consequences of violating a restraining order or a protective order are also different. While violating a restraining order is not a crime, violating a protection order is. Civil contempt and criminal contempt are different, and someone who violates a protection order faces serious consequences, such as jail time.

Protection Orders For Women in Indiana

In Indiana, protective orders work a little differently. There is no such thing as a restraining order in Indiana. Instead, if you have experienced abuse from a romantic partner or family member, you may be able to file for an Indiana Protective Order. There are a few different options available for women who have suffered abuse, and an attorney can help you decide what avenue to take. The options available to women in Indiana include the following:

  • Domestic Protective Orders – The Indiana Civil Order Protection Act (“ICPOA”) is a civil order that is available to people involved in domestic relationships, past or present. A protection order is filed in a civil court and attempts to stop a certain type of behavior from happening. It is entirely separate from any related criminal case that may or may not be in progress.
  • No Contact Order – A No Contact Order is a criminal proceeding that deals with acts of threat or harm. If you are pursuing criminal charges against your abuser, then the court may order the defendant to have no contact with you even before they are proven guilty.
  • Trial 65 Injunctions – This allows a permanent restraining order to prevent someone from doing something. It is a civil proceeding that can provide relief to victims who do not have the option of a criminal provision.
  • Stalking and Sex Abuse Protective Orders – ICPOA can be for anyone who has been stalked or sexually abused in addition to any criminal proceedings. The relationship with the abuser does not affect your ability to secure an ICPOA.

Protection Orders for Women in Michigan

In Michigan, a protective order is also known as a Personal Protection Order (PPO), which is a legal order issued by a judge to protect a person from another individual’s harmful actions or behavior. In the case of women, a PPO can be obtained if they are experiencing abuse or violence from a spouse, intimate partner, or another person with whom they have had a domestic relationship.

To obtain a PPO in Michigan, a woman can file a petition with the court that includes specific information about the abusive behavior, such as threats, physical violence, or stalking. The petition should also include information about the abuser, including their name, address, and any relevant details that can help the court understand the situation.

Once the petition is filed, the court will review it and may issue a temporary PPO, which can provide immediate protection to the woman while the court considers the case. If the court determines that the woman is in danger, it may issue a final PPO, which can last for up to three years.

A PPO can include various provisions, such as ordering the abuser to stay away from the woman, prohibiting them from contacting or harassing her, and requiring them to relinquish firearms. If the abuser violates the terms of the PPO, they may face criminal charges and penalties.

In addition to Personal Protection Orders (PPOs), Michigan law provides for two other types of protective orders:

  • Domestic Relationship Personal Protection Orders: This type of protective order is similar to a PPO, but it is specifically for individuals who have or have had a domestic relationship with the person they are seeking protection from, such as a spouse, intimate partner, or former partner.
  • Non-Domestic Stalking Personal Protection Orders: This type of protective order is designed to protect individuals who are being stalked or harassed by someone who is not a current or former domestic partner. It can be used in situations where an individual is being repeatedly followed, threatened, or otherwise harassed by someone, even if there is no previous domestic relationship between them.

It’s important to note that while these protective orders may have different names and requirements, they all exist to provide legal protection and support to individuals who are at risk of harm or violence from others. If you are in need of a protective order in Michigan, it’s important to speak with a qualified attorney to determine which type of order is best for your situation.

Protection Orders for Women in Texas

In Texas, a protection order for women is commonly referred to as a “protective order” or a “restraining order.” These orders are designed to protect individuals from family violence, which includes acts by a family member or household member intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the threat of such actions.

Here are some key points about protective orders in Texas:

  1. Eligibility: To obtain a protective order, a person must show that they have been a victim of family violence, and there must be a specific relationship between the victim and the alleged abuser (family or household members).

  2. Filing Process: Typically, the process begins by filing a petition for a protective order with the court. Family law attorneys can assist in preparing the necessary documentation and guiding individuals through the legal process.

  3. Temporary Ex Parte Orders: In emergency situations, a victim may request a temporary ex parte protective order. “Ex parte” means that the order is granted without the alleged abuser being present. This order can offer immediate protection and is followed by a court hearing where both parties have an opportunity to present their cases.

  4. Court Hearing: A court hearing is scheduled to determine whether a longer-term protective order is necessary. Both parties may present evidence and testify during this hearing.

  5. Terms of the Protective Order: If granted, a protective order may include provisions such as prohibiting contact between the parties, requiring the alleged abuser to stay away from certain locations (such as the victim’s home or workplace), and addressing issues related to child custody and support.

  6. Enforcement: Violating a protective order is a serious offense in Texas and may result in criminal charges.

  7. Duration: Protective orders can be temporary or may last for up to two years. Renewal is possible if there is ongoing evidence of a threat.

Leaving an Abusive Marriage

Leaving an abusive marriage is incredibly difficult, and we recommend that you secure representation from an experienced divorce attorney who can act as your advocate in every divorce mediation and litigation.

Your attorney will help you understand your options and will fight to protect your rights when leaving a marriage. Once a protective order is in place, you can get to work to reach outcomes on child custody, child support, property division, and spousal support. Securing a favorable outcome will help you to move forward with your life feeling secure and confident.

Temporary Orders

Temporary orders are sometimes issued by a Judge so that a divorcing couple has some legal guidance while they wait for their divorce to be finalized. For example, a temporary custody order could give parents a parenting schedule to follow that stays in place until the divorce is finalized. A temporary child support order could also be beneficial.

If a marriage has been abusive, then temporary orders are even more vital. You may believe that you should have sole custody of your children and could fight for a temporary emergency order. You can also use temporary orders to prevent your spouse from misusing your property, such as spending large amounts of savings or selling your home. 

Child Custody Arrangements

Child custody is always an emotional issue, but when you are leaving an abusive marriage, it becomes even more complex. Family law courts act on the presumption that it is in the child’s best interests for both parents to remain involved in their life. Therefore, if you believe your ex-spouse poses a risk to your children, you will need to provide evidence to a Judge.

Even if you can show a Judge that your ex-spouse is a risk to your child’s wellbeing, they may still allow for supervised visitation. A family law attorney could be integral to ensuring that the court understands the extent of your experiences and makes a decision that protects your family.

Steps to Obtain a Protective Order

If you are experiencing domestic violence and need to obtain a protective order, here are the general steps you can take:

  1. Ensure Your Safety:

    • If you are in immediate danger, call emergency services (911) for assistance.
    • If possible, go to a safe location, such as a friend’s house, a shelter, or a public place.
  2. Seek Medical Attention if Necessary:

    • If you have sustained injuries, seek medical attention. Healthcare professionals can document your injuries, which may be valuable evidence later.
  3. Document the Abuse:

    • Keep a record of incidents, including dates, times, locations, and descriptions of the abuse.
    • Take photos of any injuries or property damage as evidence.
  4. Contact a Domestic Violence Hotline:

    • Reach out to a local or national domestic violence hotline for support and guidance. In the U.S., the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
  5. Consult with a Family Law Attorney:

    • Schedule a consultation with a family law attorney experienced in domestic violence cases. They can provide legal advice tailored to your situation.
  6. Safety Planning:

    • Work with your attorney to develop a safety plan, which may include strategies for leaving an abusive situation and securing a safe place.
  7. File a Petition for a Protective Order:

    • With the assistance of your attorney, file a petition for a protective order with the appropriate court. This document outlines the details of the abuse and requests the court’s intervention.
  8. Temporary Ex Parte Order:

    • In urgent situations, you may request a temporary ex parte protective order, which is granted without the alleged abuser present. This provides immediate protection until a full hearing can take place.
  9. Court Hearing:

    • Attend the scheduled court hearing where both parties have the opportunity to present their cases. Your attorney will represent you during this process.
  10. Obtain the Protective Order:

    • If the court finds sufficient evidence of domestic violence, a protective order may be issued. The order may include specific provisions such as no-contact orders and restrictions on the abuser’s proximity to certain locations.
  11. Enforce and Monitor the Order:

    • Understand the terms of the protective order and report any violations to law enforcement. Work with your attorney to take legal action if necessary.
  12. Access Support Services:

    • Connect with local resources such as shelters, counseling services, and support groups for ongoing assistance.

How to Deal With a High-Conflict Divorce

If you are considering a protection order, then your divorce is likely to be high-conflict. Every divorce has the potential for conflict, but a high-conflict divorce usually stems from a marriage that was made difficult by toxic relationship dynamics. It often involves a long and drawn-out divorce process where one spouse tries to manipulate the situation to get what they want.

You may have put off divorce for many years due to fear of how your spouse would behave. Once you finally make the decision to move forward, it can be incredibly stressful, which is why it is important that you have the support of an experienced attorney.

Arrange a Free Consultation With WSM

If you have experienced domestic abuse, then an attorney from Woodford Stahapapan McGee can help you to explore your options so that you can take decisive action to keep yourself and your family safe. It is incredibly difficult to take those first steps, but with an experienced attorney by your side, you will have the support and guidance you need to start rebuilding your life.

At WSM, we represent women in family law matters exclusively. This gives us a unique ability to meet their needs and support them in difficult cases such as those involving protection orders.

We take a highly personalized yet professional approach and will support and guide you through each stage of your case. Our goal is for you to walk away feeling secure and confident in your future.

Arrange a free consultation with our experienced lawyers at 380-212-3731.