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How to obtain a protective order in Kentucky

For individuals going through a divorce impacted by domestic violence, there are additional measures to be taken. If your ex-spouse to-be is dangerous, a protective order may be necessary.

There are two types of protective orders in Kentucky. An emergency protective order (EPO) can be issued for a number of reasons and are intended to last until a hearing may be held by the court - generally within 14 days. Domestic violence orders (DVO) or interpersonal protective orders (IPO) can last up to three years. The restrictions are placed on a respondent after a court hearing.

This protection can be requested for yourself, your children and any other individuals you may believe need protection, related or otherwise.

Securing the order

After a petition is filed, it is immediately submitted to a judge or trial commissioner for review. If an EPO is issued, the hearing for whether a long-term order is needed should be scheduled within 14 days. The EPO is effective only during those days, but if the respondent has not been served the order, it will continue until service is made, for up to six months.

The hearing will include testimony from you, the respondent and any witnesses you or the respondent provide. If a DVO or IPO is issued, it can order the respondent to:

  • Have no contact with your or the persons protected, except as directed by the judge
  • Not go near a specified residence, school or place of employment
  • Not to abuse or threaten you
  • Not to damage or dispose of your property
  • Leave your residence

An order can also grant temporary child custody of children and child support, and it can order counseling.

If you need the protective order extended beyond its expiration date, regardless of which type, you can file a motion with the court explaining the reasons behind the request. The motion must be filed before the expiration date.

What if they violate the order?

If a respondent violates the order in any way, you can call the police, who may be able to arrest them. You can also go back to court to ask that the respondent be held in contempt for violation or seek counsel to see if the respondent can be charged for a crime.

You have the right to safety while divorcing an abusive spouse. A protective order can help guarantee that protection.

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