What Are Protective Orders and When Do I Need One?
A protective order is the short term for an order of protection from abuse, or PFA. These documents, issued by Family Court in Delaware, order an alleged abuser to stop abusing the person who filed for the PFA. Abuse covers serious emotional or physical harm. Often the alleged abuser is ordered to remain a certain distance away from the person who filed.
If you are in an abusive relationship or someone in your family is behaving in a threatening manner toward you, you may want to consider taking action to protect yourself. Read on to learn more about protective orders and lawyers.
Who Can File for a Protective Order in Delaware?
As your lawyer would explain, these orders may cover a broad group of people, including:
- Former spouses or partners
- People who live together
- People who never married but have a child together
Do I Need a Protective Order?
Consulting with a protective order lawyer in Delaware may be your best option to decide whether you need a PFA. Every case is different. You should take action right away, whether that means visiting an attorney or seeking assistance at a shelter, under any of the following circumstances:
- Someone causes you physical harm through a physical act or sexual offense
- Someone destroys or damages your property
- Someone commits child abuse
- Someone coerces you to stay with them against your will
How Long Will My PFA Last?
A protective order typically stays in place for a year, but you can request longer or shorter periods of time depending upon the circumstance. A protective order can be extended for good cause shown such as violations of the order.
Is There a Penalty for Violating a Protective Order?
Yes. If a person violates the terms of a PFA in Delaware, they can be sent to jail for up to a year, in addition to being subject to a fine of up to $2,300.
Discuss Your PFA Case With a Lawyer in Our Newark or Wilmington Offices
While you do not need a lawyer in Delaware to file for a protective order, they can help walk you through the process and understand the next steps. One of our attorneys can provide legal advice if you need to file an emergency hearing, too. Contact us to set up your appointment.