These are the questions that you should be prepared to answer when you have your final protective order hearing. Please review each one carefully and have a plan for how your children will have visitation with the other parent.
Make sure you come to the final hearing.
If you do not appear at the hearing, your Temporary Order will expire.
- Do you have transportation?
- Do you know where the Court is located?
If you are considering having an attorney with you at the hearing, start looking for one today.
- Do not wait until the day before the hearing.
- Contact the Domestic Violence Community Resources in your county for legal help and shelter (if needed).
You must prove that you need protection.
Gather any evidence you think may help prove your case. This includes:
- Police reports;
- Hospital or doctor's records for any injuries;
- Witnesses (affidavits are not acceptable) - if someone needs to be issued a summons to leave work to come to the hearing, contact the clerk's office or speak to your attorney; and
- Other documents to help the judge to decide the extent of the abuse and your need for support (i.e.: financial statements, list of bills, pay stubs, medical information, criminal charges, etc.)
Think about what you want included in the final protective order.
- No contact or limited contact (i.e.: only about child(ren), only by phone, email)
- Use of the family home or car
- Emergency family maintenance (how much?-how often?) Types of Relief
Visitation with the Other Parent
Will the visitation be supervised or unsupervised? If you fear violence, you can arrange for supervised visitation. You can also arrange a safe place to exchange the child(ren).
- If supervised, by whom? (a relative, friend, or a visitation center)
- If a relative or friend you must provide name, address, telephone number, etc.
- Who will provide the transportation?
- Where is the pick-up and drop off location? Do you need a safe neutral location? Look into Monitored Exchange programs with your local family services coordinator.
- What day(s) and times will visitation/exchange occur? See the Visitation Center hours if you are using a Center.
- What are your concerns about the visitation?
- Are there any conditions you would like included in the visitation agreement? (For example, no drinking while children are visiting, etc.)
- What kind of additional contact do you think is appropriate between the other parent and the child(ren)?
- Telephone contact? Who calls and when?
- Events at the child(ren)'s school or sports?
- Email? Or other types of "virtual visitation"
How do you want to communicate about any changes in visitation?
- A third party person? Who?
- By telephone, if no protective order?