Domestic Violence & Protective Orders


What resources are there if I am being abused?

There are many places you can turn to if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship. You should not be embarrassed or ashamed. Get help if you need it. Contact someone you can trust. If you feel you have no one to turn to, contact a local resource, such as the Battered Women's Shelter, Victim's Assistance, or the Women's Commission. Once you are safe, contact an experienced family law attorney who may be able to help you obtain a court order to keep your abuser away from you.

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What can a 50B Protective Order give me?

A basic 50B Order orders the abuser to stay away from and to not assault, threaten or harass the victim and/or minor child(ren). It can also provide other types of relief, including but not limited to: granting a party possession of a residence; requiring a party to provide a spouse and his or her child(ren) suitable alternate housing; award temporary custody of child(ren) and establish a "temporary safe visitation plan"; order either party to make child support or spousal support payments; or order the offending party evicted from the residence.

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What is an emergency Ex-Parte Domestic Violence Order?

An emergency ex parte order is an ordered that is issued by the Court after hearing from one side only. If a judge finds that you have presented sufficient evidence of danger of acts of domestic violence to you and/or your children, he or she will issue an emergency ex parte 50B Order which lasts for ten (10) days and which can provide for various forms of relief such as the abuser is to have no contact with you and/or your child(ren). If an ex parte order is entered, the Court must set a hearing within ten (10) days the entry of the ex parte order and after providing five (5) days' notice to the other party.

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What type of evidence should I present in a 50B action?

At a domestic violence hearing, you should tell the judge exactly what the abuser has done to physically hurt you and/or your child(ren) or what threats of bodily injury he/she made to you and/or your child(ren) and/or why exactly you fear for your safety. You should be direct and to the point and focus on the behavior the abuser has engaged in. You may ask the judge to have the sheriff pick your child(ren) up from the abuser or his/her family if they are with him/her or his/her family. When on the witness stand, you should be as specific and clear as possible and stay focused on the issues related to your abuse and you should present any evidence supporting your allegations of abuse at this time. There are many different types of evidence that may be introduced, for example, you would want to bring; any photos of broken furniture or objects; photos of your physical injuries; medical records; police reports as well as records of work missed as a result of the abuse.

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