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Do you need a protective order while going through divorce?

When you got married, you likely felt an immense love for your spouse. Though you may have only imagined a wonderful future together, you may have developed a fear of your spouse over time. He or she may have had a hair-trigger temper and even caused you to fear that you could suffer physical harm because of his or her actions. As a result, you felt that ending the relationship acted in your best interests.

Unfortunately, even when you want to get out of an abusive situation, doing so can have its difficulties. You may worry how your spouse will react to the divorce filing and whether this action could result in your suffering harm. However, a protective order may help you during this time.

Protective orders

Also known as restraining orders, protective orders can help better ensure your safety from someone who could potentially cause you harm. Multiple types of these orders exist, and depending on your specific circumstances, one type of order may better suit your needs. Three types of protective orders include:

  • Emergency protective orders -- With this type of restraining order, you could go to police in hopes of obtaining the order quickly. If you fear that you could suffer harm in the near future, this type of order may help, and you do not have to petition the court. However, these orders typically expire within a week's time.
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order - A DVRO could help victims of domestic violence gain a sense of safety. However, because of the seriousness associated with domestic violence, a DVRO can only be implemented after all parties involved have made a court appearance. Additionally, a judge must hand down a ruling on the case.
  • Long-term restraining orders - In some cases, cause for long-term orders may exist. These orders could last anywhere from one year to a lifetime. If your circumstances change, you can request that the court modify the terms of the order to suit the needs of your current situation.

The terms of the protective order you utilize will likely be unique to your particular circumstances. It could potentially require that your spouse stay a certain distance away from you, prohibit him or her from contacting you or participating in numerous other actions.

Obtaining an order

If you feel that your situation may warrant this type of protection, you may want to find out more information on your available options. Fearing for your safety during the divorce process can make your case even more daunting to face, but you may have the ability to obtain protections. Speaking with a Pennsylvania attorney may help you determine your best course of action.

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