Relationships can become strained, and you may fear that your spouse or another family member might harm you or someone you love. When that happens, you can file a restraining order, also called a protective order, against that person.
At Arenson Law Group, PC, our family law attorneys understand the complex laws surrounding restraining orders. With over 30 years of experience, we can help you navigate the legal process and take measures to protect you and your family.
Men, women, and children are eligible to file a protective order if they fear for their life or safety or become victims of domestic violence. A protective order requires the accused party to stay away for a specified period or suffer legal ramifications. The duration of the order can be as little as 72 hours or last up to one year.
Don’t hesitate to contact a compassionate, qualified Cedar Rapids restraining order attorney for help. Call Arenson Law Group, PC at (319) 363-8199 today, and we’ll get started on your case.
Types of Protective Orders in Iowa
Victims in a domestic relationship can file a restraining order. The relationship must involve at least one of the following scenarios:
- People who are married, including married juveniles;
- People who were living together within the last year but weren’t living together at the time of the incident that led to filing an order;
- Family or household members who were living together when the incident occurred;
- Biological parents of a minor child even if they never lived together;
- Separated or divorced couples; or
- Unmarried individuals who are living together and have a relationship that’s more than just being roommates. It does not necessarily have to be sexual in nature.
The main purpose of a restraining order is to stop harassment, stalking, interference with personal liberties, intimidation of dependents, and domestic violence.
Two main types of protective orders exist: criminal no-contact orders and civil protective orders.
Criminal no-contact orders are only available if there’s a pending criminal case involving domestic violence. The court will automatically issue this protective order until the trial begins. It can be issued with or without you requesting or knowing about it. You can ask the judge to dismiss it if you don’t want it, but they will ultimately decide.
Once it is in effect, the other party cannot contact you during the ongoing criminal proceedings. The duration of this order will depend on the outcome of the case against the other party. If the judge dismisses it, the no-contact order will not be in effect anymore. If your abuser pleads guilty or a jury finds them guilty, you could extend the protective order.
Civil protective orders are petitions you can file yourself with the Clerk of Court. A Cedar Rapids restraining order attorney from Arenson Law Group, PC can help you with the forms. You must explain what happened, the type of domestic relationship you have with the other party, and whether you have children.
After you submit your petition, a judge will review it to determine if they should issue a temporary protective order. If the judge grants it, the abuser will not be allowed to contact you in any way. If you have children, the order could include a temporary custody order that goes into effect once the Sheriff’s department serves the other party with the document. Your temporary protective order will remain effective until the court schedules a hearing, usually within 7 to 10 days of the filed petition.
What You Can Expect at the Hearing for a Civil Protective Order
The outcome will depend on what your significant other decides to do:
- If they don’t show up, the judge can take your petition as factual and automatically grant the order.
- If they show up and agree to stay away from you, the judge could issue a consent agreement protective order that both you and your partner would have to agree to. If you can’t agree to the terms, the judge would decide for you. You do not have to consent to this. You may voice your opinion of what you believe should happen.
- If they disagree with your allegations, they could ask for a hearing to speak about the circumstances in court. You would have to testify first and describe the abuse or incident that caused you to pursue a protective order. You would also need to provide evidence, which could include witness testimony and photos. The other party would then have the opportunity to testify and present their own evidence. The judge will decide whether to grant your order, and if they do, it may last for up to one year.
How to Make Changes to a Protective Order
You might have the opportunity to modify, extend, or cancel the civil protective order against your spouse or another party. Whether the court grants your request will depend on the circumstances of your case.
If you are still afraid of the other person and the year is almost over, you can ask that the court extend the order for an additional year. There will be a hearing where the judge will review the information you provide and ask you to testify about any incidents during the initial one-year period. If they believe there’s still a threat to you or your family, they will grant the extension.
You can ask the court to modify the protective order if there are terms you’re no longer happy with or that are not working. You must attend a hearing, and both you and your spouse will speak to the judge about what you want to be modified. The judge will have the final say about whether they agree.
If you don’t want a protective order or believe it’s no longer necessary, you can request that the court cancels it. The court will have to issue a new court order stating that the protective order isn’t in effect anymore.
If you were the victim of abuse or your spouse, ex, or partner threatened you in any way, Arenson Law Group, PC will advocate for your rights and safety. We know you’re facing a frightening and overwhelming experience. You can count on us to guide you through the legal process and provide the support you need.
Our Cedar Rapids restraining order attorneys will treat you like a priority and consider your individual needs while we’re working on your case. Our legal team will ensure you stay protected and put you in a position where you’re able to move forward with your life. Schedule your consultation by calling (319) 363-8199 today.
Written by James H. ArensonLast Updated : October 13, 2023