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Worcester County Restraining Order Attorneys
Assisting WORCESTER, PLYMOUTH, MIDDLESEX, HAMPSHIRE, FRANKLIN, SUFFOLK, ESSEX, BARNSTABLE, NANTUCKET, DUKES, BRISTOL, HAMPDEN AND NORFOLK COUNTY. Residents to Legally Protect Themselves & Their Families
Protective orders are issued to help keep someone safe if there has been physical or sexual abuse or a threat of abuse.
There are three types of protective orders:
- Restraining Orders
- Harassment Protection Orders
- Vacate Orders
Our Worcester County restraining order lawyers can help you petition for one of the above forms of protection if you are subject to threats or harm in a domestic violence situation.
Because our firm practices family law all the time, we also often see how often restraining orders are obtained simply because someone has filed a divorce or custody case. Our incredible and aggressive restraining order defense attorneys also can help you if you have been served with a protective order and need assistance fighting the action against you.
With over 35 combined years of exclusive family lawyer experience, our caring and dedicated family attorneys understand the sensitivity and emotional impact of these situations. Our team of legal professionals can evaluate the details of your case and provide compassionate advice and guidance regarding how to proceed.
Get in touch with our firm by calling (774) 315-4220 or filling out our online contact form today.
If there is a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse, a Restraining Order can be issued without notice to the other person on an emergency basis either through the court or through your local police station. If you obtain an emergency Restraining Order at a police station during hours the courthouse is not open, you will need to go to court the next business day to submit an additional application at the courthouse. The Defendant will be served with the temporary order you obtained at the police station and has the right to appear and argue why the Restraining Order should not be granted at the hearing on the next business day.
If you obtain the initial Restraining Order through court while it is open, then a return hearing will generally be scheduled within ten days during which the Defendant will be able to attend the hearing and argue why the Restraining Order shouldn’t be extended. At the initial hearing where the Defendant can also be heard by the court, a Judge will listen to both sides and then make a decision on whether to deny and terminate or approve and extend the order.
If granted, the provisions of a restraining order may vary depending on the nature of the alleged abuse. In some situations, the order may oblige the Defendant to abstain from any form of contact with the Plaintiff, to stay a specific distance away from the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff’s home address, or the Plaintiff’s work. There will usually be an instruction to turn in any guns or weapons to the local police station. It can also include the right of the Defendant to obtain some of his or her personal belongings out of the home with the assistance of a police officer.
If you have children together, the Restraining Order can also include the children on it by giving the Plaintiff sole legal and physical custody and even instructing the Defendant not to have any contact with the children at all. Our experienced attorneys in Worcester can review a domestic violence situation and identify which provisions may be included in a restraining order. We can help you obtain one if you need protection. We can also help you defend against one that was obtained to get an upper hand in a divorce or custody matter.
How to Fight a Restraining Order in Massachusetts
You can fight a restraining order in Massachusetts at a two-party hearing. You can do this by filing a motion to dismiss the charge.
To be successful, you must show the court that the evidence does not support the order or that it is not in the best interests of justice.
Are you facing a restraining order in Massachusetts? If so, you need an experienced Worcester divorce attorney to help you fight it. Our attorneys have years of experience handling restraining order cases, and we know what it takes to win. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and get the order dismissed.
"O'Connor Family Law and specifically Lydia Field were amazing throughout my entire divorce process. Lydia was so knowledgeable, responsive, and helpful as we worked through the mountains of paperwork."- Sarah M.
"I am so happy with the services Attorney Khan provided, she came in at the last minute after a previous attorney did not fulfil his duties and she found errors he had made, worked all weekend on a rush to finalize my divorce."- Courtney O.
"LaKeshia Parker Smalls and her team were so wonderful throughout my divorce process. I spoke with a few other lawyers before hiring her who made me feel like a burden with all the questions I needed answers to."- Jessica C.
"Sasha Khan worked with me for 10 months on a child custody modification. She had a difficult case with the opposing party, but was very professional and driven to defend me and give advice through a very difficult time in my life."- Shannon W.
A restraining order can be sought any time someone doesn’t feel safe around a person with whom they have some sort of relationship. If you need a restraining order when the courthouse is not open, you can obtain one through your local police department. If you find yourself needing a restraining order while the court is open, you can obtain one at either District or Probate and Family Court.
To obtain a restraining order, there are a number of things the Judge will have to be able to determine:
- There is some sort of relationship between you and the person you need the restraining order against. This could be a marriage, that the two of you live together (roommates count). You could be in a substantive dating or engagement relationship. Or they are a family member of yours, whether by blood or marriage.
- You must have been suffering some form of abuse. This could be your abuser harmed you or attempted to harm you physically. It could be that your abuser put you in fear of imminent serious physical harm. Or it could be that your abuser caused you to engage in sexual relations involuntarily using force, threats, or duress.
- You must live within the jurisdiction of the Court or demonstrate that you used to live within the jurisdiction of the Court, but left to avoid further abuse.
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- Don’t physically harm or threaten to physically harm anyone. But it is not unusual for there to be arguments and disagreements when a relationship is heading south. If your partner has ever threatened to obtain a restraining order against you, that should send up red flags immediately! If there is ever a threat of a person obtaining a restraining order, first, examine your behavior to see if you are perhaps coming across more aggressively than you think you are.
- Take a step back immediately. It is more important to not have a restraining order against you than it is for you to be “right” during an argument. It’s easy to let emotions get the best of you and not want to be seen as being “wrong” or “weak” because you do not continue to argue, especially if you’re arguing with someone who sees your refusal to continue to argue equate to that person “winning” or “being right.” The argument you’re having, no matter how important to you, is not worth you being forced to leave your house within a ten-minute period, being unable to see your children for a minimum of ten days, or incurring the expenses associated with having to defend yourself against a restraining order.
- Consider leaving the home for a little while to allow things to cool down. Oftentimes, if you go to leave, the person threatening you with the restraining order will also threaten that they’ll file abandonment charges against you if you leave the home. If you hear this threat, don’t worry – you will not be charged with abandonment for only leaving the home long enough to let things cool down. If you are threatened with this, stop by the police station when you leave the home and let the police know what is going on – that you had a verbal argument, that your partner threatened to obtain a restraining order against you, and that, when you went to leave the home to allow your partner to cool down, you were threatened with criminal charges for abandonment. This way, if your partner does choose to move forward and retaliate against you for not doing what he or she says, you have a record.
- Immediately contact an attorney who can help you come up with a plan to protect yourself and gather evidence in case your partner moves forward with his or her threats.
- If you are home and you know, or have a hunch, that your partner went out and obtained a restraining order against you, be prepared. Pack yourself a bag with the personal items you would need for up to thirty days. This includes medication, clothing, personal care items, documentation, or other work-related items that you might really need before you get a chance to get back into the home.
If someone has been served with a restraining order, it’s crucial to start preparing a legal defense immediately. Our attorneys in Westborough successfully defended attempts for protective orders to be obtained by controlling or manipulative partners. We can devise the best approach that protects an individual’s legal rights and builds a defense against false allegations.
Hire Our Worcester Restraining Order Attorneys
Our restraining order lawyers at O’Connor Family Law know the specific subtleties involved in these types of cases, and we can fight vigilantly to secure your safety and legal rights. Whether you are facing physical abuse or threats or you are on the receiving end of threats of having a restraining order issued against you, it is critical to hire a lawyer who has extensive experience with situations involving potential domestic violence. We can work tirelessly to help you acquire a protective order or build a defense if you believe it was wrongfully obtained.
Get in touch with our team today by calling (774) 315-4220 or filling out our online contact form.