Check out and share our new infographic on Restraining Orders, part of a series on Protection Orders.
Protection Orders #1: Restraining Orders
If you’re afraid of another person, you can try to get a court order that put limits on how they can contact you. These are “protection orders”. One type is a Restraining Order.
A Restraining Order:
- Is an order from an Ontario Family Court that helps protect you if the abuser is/was your spouse or live-in partner
- Can put restrictions on an abuser such as: no communication with you; can’t come within a certain distance of you; limits on contact with your children
- Can be temporary or permanent
- If your abuser doesn’t follow it, police can lay a criminal charge
When can you apply for one?
- If you have a reason to be afraid of your current or former spouse/live-in partner
- If you’re afraid for yourself or your child
- You don’t have to still be married or living with the abuser and it doesn’t matter when or for how long you were together
- There doesn’t have to be an ongoing Family Court case, criminal charge or conviction
How can you apply?
1. File an application at a local Family Court
2. The abuser will have a chance to respond to the application and file it with the court
3. Go to court on your court date and explain your case to the judge. The abuser will also be expected in court the same day
4. The judge will make a decision based on evidence
5. It can take a few months – it’s important to have a safety plan if you’re afraid
6. If you’re afraid of immediate harm, ask the court for a faster Urgent Restraining Order