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How Can a Protective Order Help Me Leave an Abusive Spouse?

Posted on in Family Law

Smithfield divorce attorneyAlmost 20 percent of marriages involve some type of physical violence. If you have been physically harmed by your spouse, you are not alone. Domestic violence including physical, emotional, financial, and psychological abuse can make a victim feel as if he or she has no other option but to endure the mistreatment. Leaving an abusive spouse is one of the most difficult and most courageous things a person can do. If you are ready to leave an abusive spouse, make sure to learn about the legal resources you can use to protect yourself and your children.

North Carolina Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Many abusive individuals thrive on controlling their partner. If you leave your abusive marriage, it is possible that your spouse will escalate his or her behavior. One way to protect yourself is to get a protective order or restraining order. A temporary protective order can:

  • Require your spouse to stay a certain distance away from you and your children

  • Remove your spouse from your home and give you the exclusive right to live there

  • Temporarily give you full custody of your children

A temporary protective order may be granted on an “ex parte” basis which means that your spouse does not know that you got the protective order. Temporary orders last up to ten days.

To get a longer protection period, you will attend a hearing and explain your reasons for requesting protection. A Domestic Violence Protective Order or “50B order” lasts up to two years. If your spouse violates the terms of the temporary order or the 50B order, call the police. Your spouse will face immediate arrest and criminal charges for violating a protective order. Protective orders are available regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

Divorcing a Spouse Who has Abused You

Protective orders are a crucial piece of evidence during a divorce. The court order serves as a record of the abuse you have suffered at the hands of your spouse. This will likely influence any court decisions regarding child custody. Per North Carolina law, courts can also consider “marital misconduct” such as domestic violence when making decisions about alimony.

Contact a Smithfield Divorce Lawyer

If you have suffered abuse at the hands of your spouse, a protective order can provide the legal protection you need to leave him or her. At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we know just how overwhelming it can be to leave an abusive partner. Our compassionate Johnston County family law attorneys can help you with obtaining a Domestic Violence Protective Order, gaining full custody of your children, asserting your right to spousal maintenance, and more. Call 919-533-7000 or 844-967-3536 for a free consultation. Hablamos Español.





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