Though every state may have different laws, all protective orders may permit the court to order the abusers to:

1) Stop hurting or threatening you (“cease abuse” provisions)

2) Stay away from you, your home, your workplace or your school (“stay away” provisions)

3) Prohibit all contact by phone, text, mail, fax, email and even through third parties (“no contact” provisions)

4) Pay temporary child support or continue to pay the mortgage (“support” provisions)

5) Award sole use of home or cars (“exclusive us” provisions)

6) Pay medical costs or property damages (“restitution” provisions)

7) Turn over any weapons they may have (“relinquish firearms” provisions)

8) Attend batterers’ treatment or drug treatment programs (“counseling” provisions)

9) Stay away from your children or mandate supervised visitation (“custody, visitation and child support” provisions.

You only get what you request from the court, so it is imperative to petition the court specifically regarding the circumstances of your situation. Judges are not mind readers, so if ever there was a time to speak up about everything that you have endured, or continue to endure, this is it.

What Happens If a Restraining Order Is NOT Adhered To?:

If upon attaining a valid restraining order from the court, you find that the abuser is not adhering to the orders of the court, you have several options which should be swiftly explored and exercised:

1) Ask the police or court to enforce the order.

2) File a “Motion for Contempt” in the court that issued the order explaining how the abuser violated the order.

Penalties associated with an abuser’s failure to adhere to a court order can mean jail time or a fine (or both) to the abuser. Never remain silent. If you are at your wits end when dealing with an abuser, seek assistance from the court immediately.

Please visit for additional information.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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