Domestic violence and divorce can be a complicated, emotional combination, particularly if additional safety measures need to be taken by a spouse to protect themselves and their children.
We’ve already discussed how to obtain a protective order in Kentucky, and we wanted to look at the process for Indiana petitioners.
Filing a temporary order
During a divorce proceeding, Indiana residents can request a temporary restraining order, or ex parte order, from the court. In the case of domestic violence, this order can be given to a victim by the police or magistrate when his or her alleged abuser is arrested for domestic violence.
If the court issues an ex parte order, either party can request a hearing with 30 days to respond to the order.
Filing a permanent order
Petitioners can file for an order for protection for themselves and on behalf of their children. Indiana has an online system to petition for protection orders, which means petitioners can seek the assistance of an advocate in the security and privacy of their office while they prepare and files the order electronically. That advocate will likely discuss necessary information from the court filing with you and allow you to review and edit the form before court submission.
Electronic filing means that police officers and FBI agents in the field have access to the most current information about these orders at any time. Even if you travel to another county or state, local officers can access your protection order information. However, you are still advised by the court to keep a copy of the order for protection with you just in case.
What if they violate the order?
It is a crime to violate a protection order. If this happens, contact the police and file a report. You can also contact the court to file a complaint and bring court action against your ex-spouse. Violating the order puts your ex-spouse in contempt of court, and a prosecutor will decide whether to file criminal charges. Alternatively, you can file for a contempt case. Either case can result in a jail sentence.
If you need assistance with any protection order or with an ex-spouse who has violated an order, consider seeking counsel who can help you through the process. You are entitled to safety as you navigate your life after domestic violence, and a protection order can help secure that safety.