If you are the victim of domestic violence or need protection from your spouse or significant other, the Court may enter a restraining order to protect you. There are different types of Restraining Orders depending on the circumstances of your case. The most common restraining orders are to prevent one person from disturbing the peace of the other person. This may include restraining entry onto property of one party, entering the school or day care of the parties’ children, and/or preventing one party from stalking the other party.
RCW 26.09 provides authority for a restraining order to be entered incident to the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation.
A restraining order can also protect one spouse from transferring or encumbering assets of the marriage, prevent canceling of health, vehicle, or life insurance, and provide that future expenditures after a certain date will belong to the spouse incurring the expense. These orders are often called Financial Restraining Orders and are very common as part of a Divorce or Legal Separation action.
In addition, where a family member, a former family member, or a person with whom one is having a familial type relationship (live in intimate, boyfriend, girlfriend, dating partner, etc.), goes further than disturbing the peace of the other person and actually commits an act of domestic violence,
RCW 26.50 provides the victim of such violence the right to obtain a Domestic Violence Protection Order . This order goes beyond the restraining order which prohibits harassing type behaviors to prevent the abusive spouse or domestic partner from having any contact with the victim whatsoever including through third parties. Violation of a Domestic Violence Protection Order is a crime and may result in jail time, as well as a criminal record.
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