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Can allegations of domestic violence result in restraining order?

When a couple does not agree on something, things can escalate quickly. In most instances, this means a quick argument which is resolved at a later time. However, sometimes disagreements between spouses or family members can get really heated and, on some occasions, violent. If you or a loved one has been involved in an incident related to domestic violence, understanding what could happen next is important for both parties involved.

If the police are called to a home due to allegations of domestic violence, they may enforce and "EPO," or Emergency Protection Order. Emergency Protection Orders are a kind of restraining order, but a temporary restraining order. It's meant to give space to both parties involved in a domestic violence situation to prevent any further escalations of violent behavior. There are other, more permanent, restraining orders that could result after-the-fact.

There is the more traditional restraining order, sometimes called a protection order, that is meant to last in the long term. A protection order is different from an EPO because it lasts for a much longer period of time, typically for one to five years. In some extreme circumstances, protection orders can last for a lifetime. A victim can renew the protection order if that person still feels threatened by the abuser at a time when the protection order is expiring.

Restraining orders can complicate a person's life significantly. Since domestic violence, by definition, happens between family members, it could alienate a person from their family. It could have implications on a child custody arrangement if one exists, or will exist later on. It's important to understand the long-lasting consequences filing for a restraining order can have on everyone involved.

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