Birmingham Restraining Order Lawyer

If you’re ready to hire a family attorney, there are many ways of getting in touch:

If you or your children have been the victims of abuse, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Whether or not your abuser is charged with a crime, you can utilize the civil court system to ask for a restraining order. Unfortunately, a restraining order cannot guarantee your safety. However, it does provide you with some power. If your abuser violates a temporary or long-term protection order, then they may be charged with a crime, and if convicted, incarcerated.

To learn more about Alabama restraining order rules, do not hesitate to contact a restraining order lawyer at Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC. We have years of experience helping domestic violence victims obtain and enforce restraining orders. We are here to help you protect yourself and your children. Call us today at (205) 255-1155 or contact us online.

We understand you may not be ready to contact a domestic violence lawyer. If you have questions, please utilize our discussion forum. You can receive answers from attorneys and others who have gone through similar experiences.

How a Lawyer Can Help With Filing a Restraining Order

Many people choose to handle restraining orders on their own. We respect this choice, but we also want you to know how we can help.

Our restraining order attorneys will:

  • Ensure the order for protection petition is filled out thoroughly and accurately.
  • Help you gather evidence of the abuse you have suffered.
  • Handle the filing of the paperwork at the courthouse.
  • Ensure the defendant is properly served.
  • Ensure the temporary order is properly filled out and includes all necessary provisions, including those regarding housing, child custody, and child support.
  • Prepare you to testify at the protection order hearing in the presence of your abuser.
  • Cross-examine your abuser regarding their violent or harmful actions toward you.
  • Fight for you to obtain a one-year protection order.
  • Ensure the long-term order contains all necessary provisions.
  • Return to court in the future, if it is necessary to modify or enforce the order.

Types of Protective Orders

In Alabama, there are three types of protective orders:

  • An order of protection, also known as a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order, can be filed at any time, whether or not your abuser has a pending criminal charge or you are involved in a domestic relations case. If you have been harmed by a family member, current or former spouse, domestic partner, or boyfriend or girlfriend, call us at Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC right away about obtaining a PFA order.
  • A no contact order, which is only available if there is a criminal charge filed against your abuser. The no contact order will take place within the criminal court system.
  • A restraining order, which is only available within a domestic relations case, such as a divorce or child custody matter. If you are going through a divorce or child custody battle, and you fear for your or your children’s safety, do not hesitate to call us.

At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC, we are highly experienced in obtaining protective orders. If you or your children have been harmed by someone you have a personal relationship with, please give us a call to learn more about your rights and options. We want to help keep your family safe.

What Is Needed for a Restraining Order

While restraining orders in Alabama are technically for family law cases, many people use the term to describe orders of protection. For either type of protective order, getting a restraining order requires proving that you and/or your children have been the victims of domestic abuse. These court orders are not freely available for all situations situation, even those in which you reasonably fear another person. That being said, Alabama’s Protection From Abuse Act, which enables the use of restraining and PFA orders, is meant to be liberally construed and used to give you as much protection as possible when you have been the victim of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Is Necessary for a Protective Order

When you may obtain a PFA order is outlined in Title 30, Chapter 5 of the Alabama Code. Grounds for a restraining order are based on abuse, which constitutes any act of domestic violence against you.

Under Ala. Code 30-5-2(1), domestic violence includes:

  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Attempt to commit one of these or another crime
  • Child abuse
  • Criminal coercion
  • Criminal trespass
  • Harassment
  • Kidnapping
  • Menacing
  • Other acts that could be charged as a crime
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Stalking
  • Theft
  • Unlawful imprisonment

If you are unsure of whether another person’s harmful actions toward you or your children constitute domestic abuse, contact a restraining order lawyer at Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC. If you are not yet comfortable contacting an attorney, you can submit a question to our discussion forum.

A Personal Relationship Is Required for a Protective Order

The other part of Alabama restraining order requirements is that you must have a specific type of relationship with the perpetrator of the abuse in order for your situation to constitute domestic violence.

Under 30-5-2(7), in order for the criminal conduct to constitute domestic violence, you must be related or connected to the perpetrator in one of the following ways:

  • A current marriage, including common law marriage;
  • A former marriage;
  • Sharing a child;
  • A current or previous dating relationship;
  • Current or former household members;
  • As a relative of a current or former household member while living with the perpetrator;
  • As a parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild living with the perpetrator.

The Restraining Order Process in Alabama

If you are interested in obtaining a restraining order, you should contact us at Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC. We will guide you through the process.

The first step in filing for a restraining order is to determine which jurisdiction has power over your situation. You can go to court and ask for a restraining order in the county where:

  • You or the other person live,
  • You are temporarily residing,
  • The abuse occurred, or
  • A civil action between you and the other party is pending.

In most cases, you will utilize the civil court system where you live. However, if you have any questions regarding which court to go to, do not hesitate to call us or post your question to our discussion forum.

In most situations, you will file a petition for both a temporary protection order as well as a long-term order. The petition you file with the court should describe your relationship with the other party and the abuse you have suffered. It is best to be as specific as possible regarding the abuse you have suffered.

If you are asking for an emergency PFA, you will go before the judge that day. The judge will read the complaint and ask you questions regarding your situation. If, based on your accusations of domestic violence, the judge believes your safety and well-being are at risk, they will grant an emergency temporary order that is good for 14 days. This is also known as an ex parte order because the defendant is not there.

Whether or not you obtain a temporary order, the court will schedule a court hearing within two weeks. You utilize the sheriff’s office to have the other party, now the defendant, served with a copy of the petition asking for a protection order, and when relevant, a copy of the temporary PFA order. You should never try to serve the other person yourself. Once served, the defendant is required to abide by the temporary order, which may state that they cannot contact you.

At the hearing, which you must attend, the defendant has the right to appear and defend themselves. They may have hired an attorney. The judge will listen to both sides of your story to determine whether you should be granted a protective order for one year. Depending on your circumstances, a protection order can:

  • Require the defendant to not contact you in any way;
  • Require the defendant to not come near you;
  • Require the defendant to leave your shared home;
  • Prohibit the defendant from selling shared property;
  • Give you possession of a shared vehicle;
  • Granted you temporary child custody;
  • Grant you temporary child support; and
  • Require the defendant to pay your attorney’s fees and court costs.

If the other party fails to come to the hearing, the judge may either grant you a one-year PFA order or may reschedule the hearing. If the judge reschedules, your lawyer will ask the judge to extend the temporary PFA.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Restraining Order?

Once you contact an attorney regarding a restraining order, you may have one in your hand within a couple weeks. If you are in immediate danger, your restraining order lawyer may be able to obtain an emergency PFA order for you right away. Once you have properly filed your petition for a long-term protection order, your hearing must be held within two weeks. Your attorney can try to obtain a hearing as soon as possible, though it often depends on the court’s availability.

How Much Is a Restraining Order?

If you file a petition for a PFA order, there is no filing fee. There may be filing fees for restraining orders during a domestic relations case. Also, if you choose to hire a restraining order lawyer, you will have to pay attorney’s fees. At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC, we understand many people worry about the cost of hiring an attorney. That is why we offer many legal services for reasonable flat fees. Please do not let your fear of the potential cost stop you from consulting with us.

Let Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC Help You and Your Family

When you have suffered at the hands of a family member or romantic partner, you do not have to suffer alone. Our attorneys at Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC are here to help. We will utilize the civil court system to provide you with a layer of protection, and whenever we can, we will connect you with community services to further improve your situation.

To talk with a lawyer, contact us online or call (205) 255-1155. You can also submit your questions to our online discussion forum.

Types of Domestic Abuse Cases We Handle

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