In North Carolina, one can get legal protection from domestic violence through a Domestic Violence Protective Order which is also referred to as a Restraining Order or 50-B protective order. These are orders from the court that stop the abuser from harassing, threatening, stalking or otherwise interfering with the victim. In general, this legal protection is intended for a victim who is or was married to the abuser, have a child or grandchild in common, living with the abuser, or dating the abuser. The abuser must have caused or tried to cause the victim physical harm, or the conduct of the abuser has placed the victim in imminent fear of serious bodily injury.
Most protective court orders require the abuser to stay away from the victim as well as from the victim’s workplace and home, and some orders require the abuser to keep away from the children’s school. In obtaining a 50-B protective order, the victim must be in “personal relationship” with the abuser.
In emergency cases, the court may hear from the victim of domestic violence even without the presence of the alleged abuser. An Ex-Parte order, which is valid until both parties are heard in court, can be entered by the court. Within 10 days of entering the Ex-Parte order, the issues must be heard in court wherein the sides of both parties are heard by the court. The judge can then enter a Domestic Violence Protective Order for a maximum of one year which is renewable.
The order may involve temporary custody of the parties’ common children, and possession of a home and any vehicles. For full resolution of child custody issues, alimony, child support and property division, a separation agreement or filing a separate action in court is required
When you’re faced with domestic violence issues, contact the McIlveen Family Law Firm today for more information on your rights. If you’re in an emergency situation, call 911.