When to Get a Restraining Order

July 25, 2013 · by RLF Attorneys · in

girl wants to get restraining orderIt is extremely difficult to know precisely when to file for a restraining order against an abuser in New Jersey. Many times, this will be a person-specific and case-specific thing. Nevertheless, there are usually a few tell-tale signs of when to get and when not to get a restraining order against another person.
In many cases, we may “jump the gun” and emotionally lash out at the first time a person says or does something negatively to us. Even if you have a very cold relationship with your spouse and he or she slapped you once, it might not be the time to get a restraining order.

Typically, a person will file for a restraining order after a pattern of abuse has developed to the point where that individual needs legal protection against further physical or emotional abuse.
This does not normally involve escalated verbal fights between spouses or significant others. However, several long-term verbal fights combined with a single act of violence that severely frightens you, could be enough to warrant applying for a restraining order.
Remember, a restraining order should never be used as a threat against a person and is treated quite seriously. If you attempt to apply for a restraining order in NJ for a frivolous reason, you will find it hard to get one in the event that you truly need one. Similar to the old story of the boy who cried wolf, a judge will look to your current application (even if truly sincere) based on the prior time you needlessly applied. This means it is crucial that you apply for a restraining order only when you genuinely feel in danger of future attacks and if a pattern of abuse has resulted.
A pattern of abuse can be as small as one prior incident to as many as you can imagine. As a general rule, it is better not to wait too long before applying for a restraining order in New Jersey. If you feel as though you truly are in danger, legitimately need legal protection, and have been physically attacked at least once before, then you have every right to apply for a restraining order—and you probably should.
Nevertheless, as noted at the outset, this is all very subjective. Only you will truly know whether it is the right time to apply given the surrounding circumstances of your relationship with the other person.
Ultimately, think critically about your decision before going forward. Acting frivolously can seriously hurt your chances of getting a valid restraining order in the future, but failing to act when you truly ought to can put your safety and life in jeopardy.