Domestic abuse is a serious matter, and the state understands your need for safety. While your divorce may be the grand plan for leaving violence behind, it’s essential to know what protections you can get along the way.

Over 10 million Americans are the victims of abuse at the hand of an intimate partner every year. A successful divorce could be the bedrock for protecting yourself, but Washington has additional framework to safeguard you through the process.

Defining abuse

While a restraining often finds use as a blanket term for court protective measures, it’s actually one of several distinct orders that the state can hand down. When you’re the victim of abuse in a domestic setting, the two main avenues to safety are a domestic violence protection order and a restraining order.

Protection order

You can seek shelter with a protection order immediately in the case of an emergency. If you’re the victim of or fear imminent harm, assault or stalking from your spouse, the state could grant you a temporary order while your hearing for a permanent decree is pending.

This civil order can order your spouse not to threaten or hurt you, to leave your shared home and can grant you temporary custody of your children, among other things. But there are some limitations in what it can do, and for more securities, you’ll need to intertwine an order with the proceedings surrounding your divorce.

Restraining order

While a protection order may be swift, a restraining order can cover a much wider breadth. Applying for this order will usually come alongside your divorce or child custody case. While it doesn’t hold the same sense of urgency its counterpart can, it surpasses the domestic violence protection order in that it can include property assignment, support details and additional domestic violence issues.

There are options in place to help you get away from abuse during your divorce. Understanding the time and place for the order that suits your needs is crucial, and it could allow you to find the cover you need.