arrestIn some divorce cases, it may be necessary to get a temporary restraining order to protect you and your loved ones from the threat of domestic violence. This can be an effective means to discourage the person you’re filing against from contacting you in any way so that you can move ahead with your divorce. The order goes into effect immediately after a court approves it.

Obtaining a temporary restraining order in the U.S. Virgin Islands involves the following process:

1. File for the order

The first step is to file for the temporary restraining order in the judicial division where you currently reside, whether temporarily or permanently. If you have recently moved to escape abuse and would like your new address to remain confidential, you may choose to file in a different location, however.

2. Attend an initial hearing

The next step in this process is to go in front of a judge to request the temporary restraining order. During this hearing, you and your family law attorney will explain why you need the order and the immediate danger facing you and your loved ones. If it’s an emergency situation at night or on a weekend, when the court is not in session, you may also attempt to receive an order from your local police department.

3. Finalize the order

In many cases, your temporary restraining order may be granted ex parte, which means right away and without the knowledge of the other person. That individual will then be notified by law enforcement officers, and will be unable to contact you or come within a certain distance of you and your children. This will usually extend to your workplace or school.

4. Attend a second hearing

Another hearing will be scheduled, usually about two weeks after the first. It is mandatory for you to attend this hearing if you wish to make your temporary restraining order permanent. It’s also important to take this step and to be prepared to show evidence of domestic violence or abuse, including police reports, medical records, photographs or video.

A temporary restraining order is a great way to gain greater peace of mind and protect yourself and your family from domestic violence. Speak with a family law attorney to learn more about this process and your legal options.

BoltNagi is a widely respected and well-established family law firm serving individuals and families throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.