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How to obtain a protective order during a divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Divorce |

Navigating a divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, especially when safety concerns arise. In Louisiana, understanding the types of protective orders available and how to obtain them is crucial for ensuring your well-being during this difficult time.

Types of protective orders

In Louisiana, you can request a protective order if you feel threatened or have experienced abuse. A temporary restraining order (TRO) provides immediate protection. Courts can grant it without the abuser’s presence. This order typically lasts until a full court hearing can be held, usually within 21 days.

The court can then issue a preliminary injunction following a court hearing and notification to the abuser.

If the court finds sufficient evidence of abuse or threats, it can issue a permanent protective order. This order provides long-term protection and can last up to 18 months or longer, depending on the circumstances.

Obtaining a protective order

To obtain a protective order in Louisiana, go to your local courthouse and file a petition for a protective order. Include detailed information about the abuse or threats you have experienced. For a temporary restraining order, a judge may grant the order based on your petition alone.

However, for longer-term protection, you will need to attend a court hearing where both you and the abuser can present evidence. Bring any relevant evidence to the hearing, such as photographs, medical records, police reports, or witness statements. 

Enforcing the protective order

Once a protective order is granted, always keep a copy with you. Provide copies to your workplace, children’s schools, and other relevant locations.

If the abuser violates the protective order, contact law enforcement immediately. Violating a protective order is a criminal offense in Louisiana and can result in arrest and additional charges.

Understanding your rights and the legal protections available can help you feel safer during your divorce. If you believe you need a protective order, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.