Protect Yourself: 3 Primary Tips To Help You Successfully Attain A Restraining Order

A restraining order is for people who want to keep themselves out of threatening circumstances that may involve abuse, harassment or stalking.  If somebody you know, or even yourself, has chosen to file for a restraining order against a harasser, stalker or abuser, you may be wondering how much evidence you need to bring to court in order for the judge to grant it to you.

If you need a restraining order, there are things you must do to prove you need an order of protection from the party.

- You must prove that you were a victim of harassment or domestic abuse.
- You must request what the restraining order should cover: places for the protection, turning over of firearms, continued payments for child support or mortgage payments, etc.

3 Tips To Help You To Attain A Restraining Order

1 – Learn How The Law Defines Stalking, Abuse or Harassment

Each state defines abuse, stalking and harassment differently. So, be sure you learn what your state’s definition is. Find out, before filing the petition, what will be covered in the restraining order. You have several ways to learn about this area of the law:

- Talk to someone at an abuse hotline
- Talk to the local police department
- Talk with someone in circuit court
- Talk to a family law attorney

2 – Get Your Story Straight About The Incidences

After you learn about the law, you’ll know if the situation you are in will be noted as stalking, harassment or domestic abuse. From here, you need to get the information together to share with the court. Write everything down – kinds of violence, how often it occurs, most recent event, etc. Go over the evidence with someone to get some practice about how you’ll describe this to the court.

Remember, your story is imperative to being issued a restraining order. Talk to a family law attorney if you’re nervous or not sure what you should share with the court. Don’t know of any attorneys? Call your city’s court system or the domestic abuse hotline to get a list of local family law attorneys. Some attorneys will offer clients a reduction in legal fees.

3 – Get Evidence Together

It’s possible to get a restraining order without any evidence. However, evidence can definitely help prove your case. There are three kinds of evidence that can be brought to court:

- Testimony – If anybody you know has witnessed the events – big or small – these folks can testify on your behalf in court.
- Pictures – A picture can speak a thousand words. If you have any, be sure to bring it to court and enter it into evidence.
- Legal Records – Bring all police reports, 911 phone call tapes or copies of previous criminal records of the abuser, harasser or stalker. If you’re unable to get access to these things, talk to either a family law lawyer or a domestic abuse organization.

However, of everything that’s most important in your securing a restraining order, your honest testimony is the most important. It can be extremely difficult and emotionally exhausting to testify in front of the person you are accusing.

If you’re unable to handle this process alone, that’s okay! Hire a family law attorney to help you through the restraining order process.