A restraining order, also known as an order of protection in Missouri, can provide essential safety for individuals experiencing threats or abuse. As an experienced Missouri family law attorney, I'm here to guide you through the process of filing for a restraining order in our state.
Steps to File for a Restraining Order
1. Petition for Order of Protection: The first step in obtaining a restraining order is to fill out a "Petition for Order of Protection." This form requires you to provide detailed information about the incidents that lead you to seek protection.
2. Filing the Petition: After filling out the petition, you submit it to the circuit clerk at your local Missouri courthouse. There is no fee for filing a petition for an order of protection.
3. Ex Parte Order of Protection: A judge will review your petition quickly (possibly the same day). If the judge believes you are in immediate danger, they may issue an "ex parte" order of protection, which goes into effect before a full court hearing.
4. Full Order of Protection Hearing: Within 15 days of the ex parte order, a full hearing will be held where both you and the respondent can present evidence. If the judge determines that you require protection, they will issue a "full order of protection," which can last up to one year.
How an Attorney Can Help
An experienced Missouri family law attorney can guide you through the process of obtaining a restraining order. They can help ensure your petition accurately reflects your situation, represent you at the hearing, and assist with renewing your order if necessary.
Filing for a restraining order in Missouri can be a crucial step in protecting yourself and your loved ones from harm. It's essential to understand the process and how an experienced family law attorney can assist you.