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How Do Protective Orders Work Under Georgia Law?

In the state of Georgia, a temporary protective order (TPO) is a court order that prohibits an individual from abusing, harassing, or stalking another person. There must be a certain relationship between the parties in order to be eligible for a TPO. Examples of these relationships include current spouses, former spouses, parents who share children, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, and parties who are living together or have lived together while in a dating relationship.

A TPO bars all contact between the parties, and even can order an individual to stay away from a certain residence or other place. Typically, in order to obtain a TPO, the victim must show that there has been a recent act of domestic violence by the individual that justifies the issuance of a TPO. While a TPO proceeding is independent of a divorce proceeding, it often accompanies a divorce filing when there has been domestic violence in the past or threats of violence have been made.

Once a court issues a TPO, the sheriff’s office will serve a copy of the TPO on the individual who is the subject of the TPO. Although the TPO is automatically effective, the court will order both parties to appear in court for a further hearing on the TPO within 30 days. At this hearing, the court will determine whether the TPO should remain in effect for a period of up to six months. In some cases, the TPO can remain in effect for an even longer period of time, and may even become permanent.

Aside from protecting a victim from domestic violence, a TPO also can order a party to pay child support, pay spousal support, establish temporary custody and visitation rights, order one or both parties and/or their children to undergo counseling, and order the payment of attorneys’ fees.

If you are considering filing for a divorce and domestic violence is an issue, the Shaw Law Firm, LLC, can help. We will evaluate your situation and advise you about the available options in your case.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.