HELP! My partner is abusing me. How do I stop it FAST?
You can obtain a restraining order on an expedited basis if you can show you have been a victim of abuse or domestic violence or if there is a substantial likelihood you will be unless the court acts immediately.
The law defines “abuse” generally as actual or threatened physical harm. It does not include “verbal” or “emotional” abuse unless it is physically threatening in nature. “Domestic violence” on the other hand is defined very broadly as including not only acts and threats of physical violence but also things such as stalking, telephone harassment, unlawful detention, property destruction, child abuse, etc.
If the Court finds you have satisfied this standard it will enter a temporary protective order requiring your partner to stay away from you until the Court can conduct an expedited hearing (usually within 1 to 2 weeks) to decide whether that restraining order should be made permanent. The Court can also enter emergency temporary awarding possession of the house, cars, essential items of property, and enter a temporary custody and parent-time schedule before this hearing. If your partner does not obey this order the Police can and will arrest him or her and press criminal charges. Domestic violence is prosecuted aggressively in Utah.
While protective orders are an important mechanism for protecting victims of domestic violence, unfortunately there are many unscrupulous individuals who abuse the expedited one-sided nature of the process to obtain an advantage in their custody or divorce case. Ironically, a process designed to protect victims of abuse can end up becoming a means of inflicting abuse.
Regardless of whether you are the victim of domestic violence and need a protective order or if you are being falsely accused of domestic violence, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney about your options FAST! The consequences of not being prepared can be severe. Give us a call at 855-254-2600 to learn how we can help you navigate the process.