After the final hearing, if the judge finds that you were abused, the court will issue final orders. If the judge finds abuse, he or she must order the abuser to hand over all firearms in his or her possession to law enforcement.
You can also ask the court to issue the following orders as part of the final orders:
- Continue to restrain the abuser from abusing or contacting you.
- Grant you temporary custody of the children.
- Order the abuser to pay you child support.
- Order the abuser to cover the children and you on his/her health insurance policy (if legally responsible to do so).
- Order visitation in such a way that will protect the safety of you and the children.
- Grant you use of any jointly-owned property including your residence, household furniture, and your car.
- Order the abuser to pay your out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the attack, such as hospital, doctor, or dentist bills, lost wages, taxi fares or babysitting costs, moving or shelter expenses, and legal fees.
- Restrain the abuser from intimidating or threatening you, your relatives (whether or not they live with you) or your household members.
- Direct the abuser to attend counseling, anger management,or batterers’ intervention programs.
It is very important to ask the court for these things during your testimony because the court may not issue these orders automatically.
These orders are effective for one year unless otherwise stated.
At the end of the year, you may go back to court and ask the judge to extend the protective orders if you still fear possible abuse. You should do this at least ten days before the orders expire. Be prepared to present evidence of a continued threat to your personal safety when asking the court to renew your protective order.
If English is your second language or you don’t speak any English, you have a right to request an interpreter to assist you with the police and in any court proceedings. Make sure to let the police and/or the court know that you need an interpreter to help you.