Filing a protective order can help survivors/victims of abuse get the legal protection they need and begin separating from their abuser. However, the process of obtaining a protective order isn't always straightforward, and it can be hard to know what you should do next.
Today, we're taking a look at how you can file a protective order in Missouri so that you or a loved one can receive the necessary protection in a domestic violence case.
How Do Orders of Protection Work in MO?
There are two basic types of protective orders in MO:
- Ex parte order of protection. An ex parte order of protection is one acquired without both parties involved in the order being present at the time the court issues it. Essentially, if a judge feels like there is "good cause" to issue a protective order, they can do so without the knowledge of the individual the order is issued against.
- Full orders of protection. Whether an individual acquires an ex parte order of protection or not, the court will set a hearing date. At the hearing, both the party requesting the order and the alleged abuser can appear and present evidence to the court. After the hearing, the court decides whether there is merit to issue a full order of protection. Full orders last between 180 days and a year, but they can be extended if necessary.
What Can a Protective Order Do?
Ex parte orders can order an individual to:
- Abstain from committing or threatening to commit any domestic violence;
- Abstain from entering the home of the individual filing the order;
- Stop communicating with the person who filed the order;
- Create a temporary custody order;
- Include any other terms the judge deems necessary.
In addition to the above, a full order can:
- Make a custody arrangement official and permanent for the duration of the protective order;
- Order the abuser to pay spousal support to the recipient of the protective order;
- Prohibit the abuser from selling or otherwise tampering with property;
- Order the abuser to compensate the recipient for any court costs they've endured;
At Smith Law Offices, LLC, we'll work with you to file a protective order against an alleged abuser. Contact us online or via phone at (636) 400-1177.