One of the most difficult yet important questions we are asked by our client’s is “When should I file for a Domestic Violence Restraining order?
In New Jersey, the Prevention of Domestic Violence Statue is intended to offer protection to those individuals who are subject to abuse from those individuals who fall within the statute.
The protection of the statute is not limited to only married couples but rather extends to individuals who are involved in one of the following relationships; marriage; separation; divorce; living together in the same household at present or in the past; a person with whom the Plaintiff dated or a person with whom the Plaintiff has a child in common or anticipates having a child in common.
There are a number of offenses under the Statute that would entitle a litigant to obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order or TRO. While a physical assault is clearly an act of Domestic Violence , not all conduct needs to involve a physical touching.
If you are the victim of an act of Domestic Violence, you should immediately contact your local police department if it is after hours or proceed to the county courthouse for the county in which you reside to file and obtain a TRO.
Once you obtain a TRO, the other party will be served and immediately barred from your residence, place of employment and from having any contact with you. The Court will schedule a date for the Final Hearing at which time you will need to appear with your witnesses and testify in support of your request for a Final Restraining Order or FRO.
The bottom line is that if you feel that you are a victim of domestic abuse, you should IMMEDIATELY file for a TRO and contact your attorney to help with the process. Domestic Violence is a very serious offense . Therefore, it is very important that you are aware of your rights.
Robert Adinolfi, Esq. has been practicing Family Law for 40 years. He is a Certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Law Attorney and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. To schedule a confidential consultation and learn more about the laws and procedures in New Jersey regarding Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders, contact our offices at 856.428.8334.