Nobody truly wants to be in an abusive relationship. Yet countless people throughout Salt Lake City find themselves in the crossfire of domestic violence. It is particularly troubling when children are involved. From the outside, it is easy to tell someone to simply pack their bags and leave the house. But when it comes to abusive relationships, nothing is quite that simple. Far too many victims of domestic violence are not in the financial position to leave. It can leave many feeling helpless and trapped in a no-win situation. Fortunately, there are solutions. The first is to seek legal advice from an experienced and knowledgeable Salt Lake City family law attorney.
How To File a Restraining Order in Utah
One of the most effective ways to get out of an abusive relationship is to file a restraining order. Although it can sometimes get a little complicated, having a skilled legal professional on your side can make the process much smoother. The State of Utah offers two types of protective orders–a temporary restraining order and temporary civil stalking injunctions. Before you begin, it is first important to discuss these options with a Salt Lake City family law attorney. Generally, those who are already living with an abusive partner will seek a temporary restraining order. To qualify, the petitioner must prove the following:
- Must be at least 16 years of age (married or emancipated)
- Must have either a record of being harmed by the abuser or fear they will suffer harm
- The accused abuser must also be at least 16 years of age (married or emancipated)
- The victim and the alleged abuser must have lived together or are expecting a child or be related
- If the abuse victim is under 16, they must obtain a protective order from an adult
The forms used for filing a restraining order in Utah can be found at an attorney’s office, domestic violence shelter, or any courthouse. If you are having difficulty filling out any forms, go online to the Utah Online Court Assistance Program. Because there are several different types of protective orders in Utah, select the form that applies to your case.
Difference Between Restraining Orders and Protective Orders
Restraining orders and protective orders are similar in who they protect. However, there are some differences in how long they can be enforced along with the level of penalties assessed to violators. A protective order is issued by the court and requires the abuser to stop making any threats or stalking or physically abusing the petitioner. It also prevents the abuser from making any contact with the victim, whether it is by phone, email, or in person. Restraining orders contain even more specific conditions, including provisions that concern child custody, property, spousal, and child support. The length of a restraining order depends on a case-by-case basis. They typically last for 6 months. However, in some extreme cases, they can be enforced for several years. Protective orders are enforced for at least one year and sometimes longer. They can be renewed upon request.
Contact a Salt Lake City Domestic Violence Attorney Today
Nobody should be forced to stay in an abusive relationship. It is not only detrimental to the victim’s health and welfare, but it can also be traumatic for the children. The first step to end this vicious cycle is to obtain a restraining order or protective order. Salt Lake City domestic violence attorney Emy A. Cordano understands the obstacles facing victims of domestic violence. She utilizes an aggressive and comprehensive approach to ensure each client is placed in the best position to succeed. To learn more, contact her Salt Lake City family law office today and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.