Can I Get a Restraining Order Against My Former Spouse in North Carolina?
Many assume that once they have divorced their spouse, they can put their relationship behind them and continue with their lives in North Carolina. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many individuals discover that their spouses refuse to leave them alone, and they suffer serious mental and emotional distress as a result.
A divorce is supposed to be the beginning of a new chapter of your life - a chance to start anew. When the same old toxic characters continue to harass you, it can feel like you are being trapped in a situation from which there is no escape.
With the right legal assistance, you do not have to put up with this kind of abuse anymore. Enlist the help of a qualified attorney, and you can explore a number of legal methods to make your former spouse stop their abusive treatment.What is a Protective Order?
In North Carolina, a protective order also goes by many other names. This type of court order is also commonly known as a “restraining order,” although its proper, specific name is a “50B” or a DVPO (Domestic Violence Protective Order). A protective order of this kind grants you many unique rights, while simultaneously limiting and restricting the actions of your abuser.
After you have been granted a protective order, your former spouse can legally no longer:
- Abuse, threaten, follow, or harass you
- Contact you in any way
- Contact your children
- Live in the same home as you
- Travel to certain locations like your child’s school, your workplace, or the homes of your family members
This type of protective order can also provide additional benefits. If you currently live in the same home as your abuser, they may be ordered to move out. In other cases, they may be required to provide you with housing so that you can move out. In addition, the abuser may be ordered to hand over firearms, pay child support, attend treatment programs, and more.When can You File for a Protective Order?
You can file for a protective order if you meet certain requirements. In the specific case of a DVPO, you can only file if you have had a certain type of relationship with the abuser. The following types of relationships are examples of this:
- Current or former spouse
- Someone who currently or once lived in the same house as you
- The father/mother of your child
- Someone who you have dated or been romantically involved with in the past
- A parent
- A child
- A grandparent
- A grandchild
If your former spouse has been harassing you or stalking you, you should have no trouble filing for a protective order. If you are being harassed by someone that you do not know or someone who is only a distant acquaintance, do not worry; there are other types of court orders you can obtain.
There are a few other things you need to keep in mind when filing for a protective order in North Carolina. For a judge to approve your court order, they need to see that you have suffered some type of domestic violence at the hands of your abuser. This may include the following:
- Attempting to physically harm you or successfully harming you
- Placing you in “fear of imminent danger” (for example, brandishing a gun near you)
- Continued harassment, phone calls, or communicating with you for no legitimate purpose (stalking)
- Sexual assault
To successfully gain a protective order you will need to show the court that you are under serious mental distress and that you have suffered instances of domestic abuse at the hands of your abuser. This is why enlisting the help of a qualified attorney is so important in this situation. With help from a legal expert, you can use rock-solid evidence and a number of techniques to ensure you get approved for your DVPO.Where to File Your Protective Order
You can file your protective order in the county in which you live. For example, If you live in Mooresville, you would file your protective order through the Iredell County Clerk of Superior Court. Alternatively, you can file your protective order in the county where your abuser lives if they live in a different county than you.
Once you have filed your protective order application through the County Clerk’s Office, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office will serve your abuser with a court summons. They will then attend a hearing, and a judge will decide whether or not to grant the protective order.Getting Legal Help
If you want the abuse to stop, it is best to rely on legal professionals with years of experience in these matters. Reach out to Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at 704-370-2828 today, we now offer three convenient locations in Charlotte, Monroe and Mooresville and we will make sure that the abuse stops as soon as possible.