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Domestic Violence During Divorce: Do You Need a Protection Order in Indiana?

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2020 | Family Law

Victims of domestic violence during divorce can petition Indiana courts for an order of protection if they fear harm for themselves or their children from their abuser. Papers can be filed electronically to avoid personal contact with an abusive spouse.

Indiana Protection Orders

In Indiana, a victim of domestic violence and/or sexual violence, abuse, and harrassment by a partner or spouse can petition for an order of protection through Indiana divorce lawyers or an online system set up by the court. A spouse can also file for an order of protection when he/she believes children are in danger of getting harmed by a partner, spouse, or family member.

The Indiana Civil Protection Order Act protects a victim from domestic violence and abuse by prohibiting the abuser from contacting the victim or coming to the victim’s home or workplace. If child abuse is suspected, a protection order prohibits the alleged abuser from coming to the child’s school and/or home, as well as participating in the child’s activities.

A protection order is obtained by filing a petition in a civil court where the victim or abuser resides. In Indiana, protection orders must be filed electronically to allow police officers quick access to the order if problems arise. When a protection order or restraining order is violated, police can arrest the violator and charge him/her with a crime. If a criminal case is pending in court, the order does not impact that case because it is a civil matter.

What Protections are Provided?

In many cases, spouses victimized by domestic violence file for a protection order prior to filing for separation or divorce with divorce lawyers. An Indiana order of protection can legally force a spouse to do the following:

  • Cease physical contact and/or contact by phone, email, social media, or through another person
  • Continue making mortgage payments or rental payments on property
  • Move out of the family residence
  • Pay temporary child support
  • Turn over all firearms to law enforcement
  • Participate in domestic violence and/or alcohol and drug counseling

Additional protections may involve possession or access to family vehicles and family pets. In some cases, the Respondent may be ordered to pay money to the Petitioner for Indiana divorce lawyers and legal fees, as well as medical expenses related to injuries caused by acts of domestic violence.