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Raleigh, NC Domestic Violence Protective Order Attorneys

Charlotte Restraining Order Lawyers

Lawyers in Wake County for 50B Restraining Orders

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), one in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Not all such acts are necessarily considered "domestic violence" as defined in North Carolina, but these numbers are still quite troubling. Being the victim of domestic abuse can be a devastating and isolating experience. If you have been abused by a member of your family or household, your significant other, or your spouse, you know just how horrific this type of treatment can be.

Fortunately, North Carolina law does offer resources that could allow you to escape an abusive situation. They are called domestic violence protective orders, and they are legally binding court directives that are used to keep an abuser from contacting you or from coming near you. You do not deserve to be intimidated, abused, or mistreated. With this in mind, the compassionate family law attorneys at the Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC are fully prepared to help you obtain a protective order that helps ensure your safety and that of your children.

Under North Carolina law, there are two basic types of protective orders available to victims of domestic violence:

Ex Parte Temporary Protective Orders

"Ex parte" is a Latin phrase used to describe a situation where a judge can grant an order without requiring all parties to be present or represented. This is particularly helpful in domestic violence situations. An ex parte temporary protective order can be issued based on a credible complaint by the victim stating that he, she, or the individual's child is in immediate and serious danger. The court has the discretion to set the terms of the order as needed to protect the victim or child. Such terms could include an order to stay away or temporary order changing child custody arrangements. An ex parte order will remain in effect until a full hearing can be held—usually within ten days of the order being granted or within a week from the date the abuser is served, whichever is later.

Final Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Following the hearing, the court may grant a protective order if the court determines that the abuser has committed an act of domestic violence. This order is called a "domestic violence protective order" or DVPO. It may also be called a restraining order or a "50B order," as such orders are addressed by Chapter 50B of the North Carolina General Statutes. A DVPO can remain in effect for up to one year, with renewals available for an additional two years. If the order includes a temporary custody award, however, the custody portion cannot be extended without separate proceedings in family court.

A domestic violence protective order can be used to:

  • Prohibit the abuser from future acts of domestic violence
  • Give possession of the family home to the victim and prevent the abuser from accessing he home
  • Grant temporary custody and visitation arrangements
  • Limit or prohibit the abuser's contact with the victim or the victim's children
  • Restrict the abuser from buying a firearm
  • Order the abuser to complete a treatment program for anger management or substance abuse, as appropriate
  • Impose any conditions or limitations the court finds necessary to ensure the safety of the victim or the child

Once the order is issued, it becomes fully enforceable under penalty of law. Violating a DVPO is a criminal offense that could lead to up 150 days in jail.

Speak With a Compassionate Attorney Today

At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we understand how difficult it can be for a domestic violence victim to speak up and seek help. If you have been abused or you believe that you are in danger of abuse, get to a safe place and contact our office immediately. Our lawyers will work with you to help you obtain the relief you need. Call 919-533-7000 or 919-989-3000 for a free consultation with a member of our team today. We serve clients in Johnston County, Mecklenburg County, Wake County, and throughout the surrounding areas. Hablamos Espanol.

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