A Brief Guide to Family Protection Orders (Restraining Orders)
When you feel the safety of you or your children is at risk by a spouse or former spouse, family lawyers often recommend getting a restraining order or a family protection order as it’s called here in BC. Hiring Donald B. Phelps Law Corporation to help you oversee the process can ensure the details are quickly managed. While working with a family lawyer in Vancouver isn’t necessary to file a restraining order, having one can facilitate and expedite the process. In addition, a lawyer will be able to more effectively explain your case.
Definition of a family protection order
A family protection order is a legal decree from a court of law that orders one family member to refrain from contacting or approaching another. It can be highly specified or more general in nature and result in either a short term or long term mandate. The person must comply with the restraining order or else risk being fined or jailed.
Who can apply for a family protection order?
You cannot apply for a protection order against someone you’re dating or with whom you’re casually involved (there’s another legal path that must be taken under these circumstances). You can only apply for a protection order against someone who meets one of the following criteria:
- The person is a spouse or family member
- The person is someone with whom you are living
- The person is a former spouse
- The person is someone with whom you once lived
- The person is the parent of one or more of your children.
If you fear for yourself or your children, it’s best to take immediate action. The safety of you and your family warrants top priority.
*** For emergency situations, please contact the police immediately! ***
How to file a family protection order
There are a number of steps that need to be followed when applying for a restraining order. They are as follows:
- Choose a Provincial Court or Supreme Court in which to apply. There are pros and cons of each but most people prefer to use provincial courts because they offer a more streamlined process, require no court fees and are more accessible.
- Retrieve and fill out the court forms required. There are three needed for Provincial Court cases and five for Supreme Court cases. At Donald B. Phelps, we help clients with all required paperwork.
- Attend a court hearing. Provincial Court hearings require that you testify whereas Supreme Court cases in which a lawyer is present make use of affidavits. In both cases, witnesses and other evidence may be used to strengthen your case. The person you wish to protect yourself or your children from will also be present and will provide their own evidence.
Choose a family law firm
It’s best to select a family lawyer in Vancouver from a firm that deals exclusively or primarily with family law cases. Among family law firms throughout the Lower Mainland, Donald B. Phelps Law Corporation provides efficient and affordable services. Contact us immediately to schedule a consultation.