Can you get a restraining order if your spouse threatens you?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Domestic Violence

You know that you can get a restraining order if your spouse actually abuses you and if you are a victim of domestic violence. The goal of the restraining order is to force them to keep a set distance so that you are no longer in danger. They may also be prohibited from contacting you in any way, such as on the phone or on social media.

But what if your spouse has never actually abused you or physically harmed you in any way? Instead, when arguments get heated, they have simply threatened to do so. You do believe the threats are serious, but they simply haven’t gone through with any of them yet. Can you get a restraining order to make sure that they don’t, or do you have to wait until things escalate before you can get one?

You can get a restraining order for a threat

You can get one of these orders, which are known as orders of protection in New York, if you have been threatened. In fact, the New York Police Department offers this guidance: “Orders of protection are issued by a judge to protect you from another person who is abusing, harassing, threatening, and/or intimidating you, or has committed a crime against you.”

As you can see, physical violence is not needed. If someone threatens to harm you, consistently harasses you or does what they can to intimidate you with the threat of physical violence, you may still qualify for an order of protection. This is true if this person is your spouse or if they are a third party. You do not have to wait until they harm you to seek protection.

After all, the goal of these orders is to keep you safe. If you were required to wait until physical violence had already happened to ask for the order, that would run contrary to this main goal. The court may still order one if you are honestly afraid of the outcome if you do not get the order, hopefully preventing you from becoming a victim of domestic violence in the future.

This may also be something that you want to consider if you and your spouse have children together and you are worried that the children could be harmed. If your throat spouse has threatened you and your children but hasn’t done anything, you can still seek this type of protection so that you no longer have to worry.

How do you get the order?

If you are in this situation, it’s incredibly important that you understand exactly what options you have and what steps to take to get the order of protection in time. An experienced legal team can help you do so.