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The Top 6 Reasons to Consider a Protective Order
Recognizing that your relationship has become abusive can be difficult. Maybe the abuse developed gradually, or maybe you have held out hope that things could get better. If you are living in fear in your own home, however, it’s time to take action. To stop the abuse, a protective order may be your best strategy.
The most obvious reason to take this step is that it establishes limits and gives you recourse if those limits are violated. The most fundamental purpose for the order is to put an immediate end to the abuse. The court can order the abuser to leave your home and stay away for as long as the directive is in place. Knowing you can take legal action if boundaries aren’t respected can give you the breathing room you need to figure out the best course of action in the long term.
Another reason for involving the court is that this can protect your right to custody of your children and help you to ensure their safety. Without court involvement and assuming no other custody arrangements are in place, your spouse has equal rights to your children. It may be difficult for you to restrict the other person’s access to them without the court’s help.
Filing for a protective order can protect you financially as well. Taking this step may entitle you to temporary child support or other monetary support from your abuser. It may also allow you to have medical bills or other expenses directly related to the abuse covered by the abuser so that you don’t bear the financial burden of the other person’s actions.
Involving the court can put a stop to your abuser’s attempts to contact you. Often, when an abuser sees that the victim is taking steps to end the relationship, there may be an apparent change of attitude and attempts to reconcile may follow. Phone calls, emails, or messages through other people can be extremely distressing even if no direct contact takes place and no threats are made. It’s common for abusers to vacillate wildly between contrition and rage, which can cause great distress to the victim. The court can forbid all contact, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to think clearly.
Two final reasons to consider a protective order are that it can help you to gain access to personal documents, such as your driver’s license or passport, as well as your children’s documents, such as social security cards or birth certificates. It can also require that your abuser surrender any weapons that may pose additional threat to you.
To learn more about a family attorney in San Diego, visit this website.
Paul advises people on divorce and family law matters. You can find his thoughts at Livejournal blog.
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