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Restraining Order, TRO & Protective Order Forms



How to Get a Restraining Order in Divorce

If you're afraid of what your spouse may do when served with divorce papers, such as liquidating assets, running away with the children, hiding assets, or racking up credit card debt, then getting a restraining order may be your solution. In some cases, a spouse may react with volatility to the divorce petition, and if you have a legitimate fear that a spouse may seek vengeance by retaliating financially, attempting to abscond with the children, or even domestic violence, a request for a protective order or temporary restraining order should be filed at the same time as filing for divorce. If the court grants the protection order, it can then be served on your spouse along with the divorce petition.

Your request should be specific about your reasons for requesting the protection order. You should also request a copy of the local court rules from the clerk of courts to determine any rules applicable to filing a motion for a protective order. If you have questions about getting an order for protection or TRO, you should consult a local divorce attorney. When domestic violence or child abuse is involved, there is often assistance available through local advocacy and support groups.

Protection Order

Requesting an order of protection may also be an option if you have a need to limit contact or obtain an order for the spouse to stay away, such as when there has been a history of domestic violence. A protective order may also be referred to as a restraining order. In emergency situations, when you need a restraining order immediately, you can apply for a temporary restraining order, also called a TRO, which will take effect before the regular divorce proceedings occur. When you request such an order, it's made on an ex parte basis, meaning that the judge will issue it after hearing only one party's side of the story. Because of the due process concerns involved, when an ex parte order for protection is ordered, there is usually an expedited hearing date set, often in a couple of weeks, in order for the other party to be present and speak on their own behalf in court.

An order to show cause is typically issued with an emergency order, which includes a hearing date for the other spouse to appear in court and be given an opportunity to explain whether cause exists for the requested emergency orders not to be granted. Some of the issues that may be the subject of an order for protection of restraining order include the following:

  • Determining who will reside in the marital residence until the final divorce order is made.
  • Awarding temporary use of a vehicle.
  • Deciding who will have temporary custody of children.
  • Preventing cancellation of insurance or a change of beneficiary designations.
  • Preventing hiding or depletion of assets, such as draining bank accounts or selling other assets.
  • Limiting the amount of debt incurred, such as use of credit cards for unnecessary expenses.
  • Ordering no contact or limiting contact with the other spouse or children when there is a threat of child abuse or domestic violence.
  • Ordering payment of temporary child support or alimony.

US Legal Forms offers professionally drafted, affordable sample protection order, TRO, order to show cause, and restraining order forms for use in divorce proceedings. Our forms may be previewed before downloading and can be easily filled out in Word format. Completed samples are also available.