Once the plaintiff has proved that the defendant has abused her within the meaning of the statute, the court may grant a final restraining order that will remain in effect for one year. The court has the authority to order the following protective orders:

  • Restrain the defendant from abusing the plaintiff, plaintiff’s relatives or plaintiff’s household members
  • Restrain the defendant from entering the place where the plaintiff resides (except to retrieve personal property allowed by the court and accompanied by a police officer)
  • Restrain the defendant from contacting the plaintiff or entering the plaintiff’s place of employment, school, or any specified place frequented regularly by the plaintiff or by any family or household member. 
  • Restrain the defendant from taking, converting, or damaging plaintiff’s property or property he or she may have an equitable interest in
  • Direct the defendant to relinquish to the peace officer deadly weapons that are in the possession or control of the defendant

Additionally, the court has the authority to issue orders concerning parenting, support, personal property and use of the family home. These additional orders may include the following:

  • grant primary parenting responsibility to either party, and make orders for parenting time
  • direct the defendant to pay support to the plaintiff or minor children (if the defendant has a legal duty to support the plaintiff or minor children)
  • order the defendant to make automobile, insurance, health care, utilities, rent, or mortgage payments
  • order the defendant to pay monetary compensation to the plaintiff for losses directly resulting from the abuse
  • order the defendant to take a batterers intervention course or counseling
  • grant exclusive use of the family home to the plaintiff (unless the plaintiff has no legal right to reside in the home)
  • grant use of household furniture or an automobile to the plaintiff (unless the plaintiff has no legal interest in the property and the defendant has no legal obligation to support)
  • order the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s reasonable attorney’s fees 

Although the court may make these orders in a final restraining, the order is only good for one year. Therefore, after the year has passed, the orders will expire. The plaintiff should take care to make plans to have additional orders in place when the restraining order expires, either through a divorce or parenting petition, to ensure the defendant’s continued obligations for support and to make certain there are established parenting rights.