Even though divorce has a reputation of being a long process with often complicated nuance, spouses might hope that things could at least stay civil. That is not always the case.
When it comes to ensuring a person’s immediate safety if he or she feels in danger in North Carolina, calling 911 is one of the fastest solutions. In the case of ensuring a person’s safety over the course of a divorce, a domestic violence protective order may be the tool to lean on.
Protecting against domestic violence
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, over 43% of women and 19% of men experienced physical violence, sexual violence or stalking from an intimate partner. Regardless of whether a spouse is a man or a woman, a judge issuing a protective order may include a number of caveats:
- Requiring the defendant have no contact with the plaintiff
- Enforcing a distance the defendant must stay away from the plaintiff’s home, school or workplace
- Awarding temporary child custody
- Deciding who may stay in the home or use a shared car
Getting a protective order
As the North Carolina Judicial Branch details, spouses suffering abuse may file for a protective order at a local agency or court office. With proof of the other spouse’s domestic violence, a judge hears the case. They may issue an ex parte order to enforce a temporary distance while the sheriff issues the order to the offending spouse.
The courts schedule a hearing where both plaintiff and defendant make their case. If deemed necessary, the judge issues a longer-lasting protective order that fits the situation at hand.
People do not plan to be in an abusive relationship. And by the time they realize they are in one, it might feel impossible to get out. In those cases, there are tools available to give them the space they need.