If your ex-spouse is harassing you or threatening your safety, you can apply for a protective order. A protective order legally restricts another person’s contact with you. Courts order parties to refrain from contact in various situations, but the most common use is in a divorce.
New York has different options available to get a protective order.
Types of protective orders
The Family Court in New York can issue an order of protection for married persons, related persons, those who share a child or otherwise have an intimate relationship. To apply to the Family Court for restraint against someone, you will need to fill out a Family Offense Petition.
The Criminal Court can also issue an order of protection. The prosecuting attorney must petition the court on behalf of the alleged victim of the harassment. The Supreme Court of New York has the authority in ongoing criminal and divorce cases to rule on a motion for cause to prevent one party from contacting the other.
Scope of declaration
A declared restraint against someone can be for a limited duration or longer. Courts will usually grant a temporary order at an initial hearing and then extend it or make it final as the entire case gets heard. A limited protective declaration can prevent specific actions. A full order of protection prohibits all contact with the named party.
If you are going through a divorce and your former spouse threatens you, you need to pursue the appropriate legal remedies to stop any harassment.