Seeking Relief from Domestic Abuse

Last Updated : April 2, 2024

Being a victim of domestic abuse can leave you feeling scared and helpless and can put you and possibly your children into a dangerous and very harmful situation. If you are the victim of domestic abuse, Iowa law affords you avenues of relief to seek protection and safety for yourself and your children. Under Iowa Code Section 236.2, “domestic abuse” means “committing assault” under a variety of different circumstances. These circumstances include situations where the assault is between family or household members who resided together at the time of the assault, between separated/divorced spouses, between persons who are parents of the same minor child, between persons who have been family or household members residing together within the past year but not at the time of the assault, or between persons who are or have been in an “intimate relationship” and have had contact within the past year of the assault. The law provides specific definitions and parameters for what constitutes an “assault”, an “intimate relationship”, “family or household members” and other relevant terms.

Under Iowa Code Section 236.3, a petition for relief from domestic abuse can be filed and the victim can seek protection, including temporary orders to provide for temporary protection and longer orders to continue the protection. A protective order can address a variety of factors relevant to your safety, such as who remains in a shared residence. The Court may schedule a hearing in order to consider whether or not to enter a protective order. These hearings generally occur within five to 15 days of the filing of your petition to seek protection. If you have questions about the law surrounding protection from domestic abuse, a qualified Cedar Rapids divorce attorney with Arenson Law Group, PC can help you to answer these questions. If you need help taking the appropriate legal actions to address domestic abuse, a qualified attorney may also be able to help you with this.