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Hanover Restraining Order Lawyers
While a restraining order might seem insufficient against the immediate threat of violence while it is ongoing, judges have substantial authority to order and enforce protective measures for individuals who are experiencing domestic abuse through the issuance of a protective order. These protections may include non-contact clauses for both you and your children, making the abuser leave the home, only allowing the abuser to obtain personal belongings with a police escort, and other orders meant to keep you safe.
If you suffered abuse, harassment, or threats of violence from a household member, co-parent, or domestic partner, a Hanover restraining order lawyer can file a petition for protection on your behalf. Additionally, because our attorneys have over 35 combined years of exclusive family law experience, we understand there may be situations where someone is facing false accusations. Therefore, we can help you challenge false reports of domestic violence as well.
Who Can Obtain a Restraining Order in Hanover?
Local residents and those who recently left their homes to avoid abuse may petition for a protection order under Chapter 209A of Massachusetts General Laws. To qualify for court-enforced protection, the petitioner must have suffered or been threatened with physical or sexual harm by a(n):
- Co-parent, ex-spouse, or anyone with whom the petitioner shares a child
- Romantic partner or finance
- Household member, such as a roommate, sibling, stepparent, grandparent
- A former romantic partner or household member
- In-law or blood relative
Examples of domestic violence incidents that often necessitate restraining orders include a parent slapping a child, a husband threatening to physically harm a wife, or an intoxicated boyfriend attempting to attack his partner. A local attorney may ask a judge to issue a 209A restraining order without notifying the abuser if the petitioner is in immediate danger. Once entered, law enforcement officers may remove the abuser from the household and if the abuser violates the restraining order, he or she can face criminal charges, inclusive of incarceration.
Applying for a Restraining Order
The Commonwealth provides applicants with a downloadable application for a domestic violence prevention order, which can be found online. Generally, applicants must describe the violent event(s), discuss shared children and related family proceedings, identify whether the defendant has firearms, and provide detailed personal information about themselves and their abuser. Although it can be hard emotionally to write and discuss, the affidavit should be detailed and provide dates for the most recent events.
Survivors of physical or sexual abuse may find themselves overwhelmed with filling out the necessary information, recounting events in a notarized affidavit, and submitting supporting evidence for a protective order. Fortunately, one of the caring lawyers at our firm can sit down with petitioners to prepare and file restraining order applications on their behalf. This can be done outside of the courthouse to prevent the additional stress that is often felt once inside the courtroom doors.
What Terms Can an Order of Protection Include?
Courts may generally order any relief necessary to protect an applicant from future harm. In most cases, an attorney can help you and your family request the judge to order:
- A stop to all abusive behavior, including verbal or implied threats, duress, harassment, and request for sexual relations
- The defendant to cease contacting or communicating with the petitioner and their relatives or children
- The defendant to move out and stay away from the petitioner’s home, school, or workplace
- A removal of the petitioner’s address and contact information from the public record or protective order if the petitioner has moved somewhere else to remain safe
- Financial help, although sometimes the District Court will refer the petitioner to the Family Court for this type of support
- Special protections for the petitioner’s children
- Other relief deemed necessary, such as police escorts to pick up belongings or pets
The defendant may face serious criminal, financial, and legal penalties for violating a 209A order. This may include loss of child custody rights or a prison sentence. Domestic violence survivors with a restraining order should immediately contact a lawyer in the area if a defendant violated its provisions.
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