A Guide to Restraining Orders Against Parents - Zukerman Law

A Guide to Restraining Orders Against Parents

The parent-child bond is one of the most fundamental relationships in our lives. However, there are times when that bond becomes fractured, and a parent’s actions threaten your safety and well-being. In these difficult circumstances, seeking a restraining order against a parent can be a necessary step to prioritize your security.
It’s not easy to consider legal action against a parent. But remember, prioritizing your safety is paramount. Here, we’ll provide a guide to navigate the process of obtaining a restraining order against a parent. We’ll explain what a restraining order entails in this context: the different types you might encounter, and the steps involved in securing one.

What is a Restraining Order Against a Parent?

What is a Restraining Order Against a Parent?

A restraining order, also known as a protective order, is a court order issued to protect a person from abuse, threats, harassment, or stalking by another person. It outlines specific limitations on the respondent’s (the person being restrained) behavior to ensure the safety of the petitioner (the person seeking protection).
Specific to Parent-Child Situations:
While less common than restraining orders between romantic partners or former spouses, a restraining order can be obtained against a parent if their actions threaten your safety or well-being. This can be a difficult situation, but courts recognize the importance of protecting individuals from abuse regardless of the familial relationship.

Types of Restraining Orders Applicable in Family Situations

Types of Restraining Orders Applicable in Family Situations

Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)

This type of restraining order is specifically aimed at preventing abuse or threats of abuse between individuals who have a close relationship, such as spouses, domestic partners, parents and children, siblings, or individuals in a dating relationship.

Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order

This order is intended to protect elderly individuals or dependent adults who are victims of abuse or neglect, often by family members or caregivers.

Civil Harassment Restraining Order

While not limited to family relationships, this type of restraining order can also apply to situations involving neighbors, roommates, or other individuals where harassment or threats occur outside of a domestic context.

Reasons Why Someone Might Seek a Restraining Order Against a Parent

Reasons Why Someone Might Seek a Restraining Order Against a Parent

Seeking a restraining order against a parent is a serious step that is typically taken in response to severe or ongoing issues within the family. Some common reasons why an individual might pursue this legal measure include:

Domestic Violence or Abuse

Physical, emotional, or psychological abuse inflicted by a parent can warrant the need for protection through a restraining order.

Threats or Intimidation

Persistent threats, intimidation, or harassment from a parent can create fear for one’s safety and well-being.

Stalking or Unwanted Contact

Unwanted communication, monitoring, or stalking behavior by a parent can constitute grounds for a restraining order.

Child Custody or Visitation Disputes

In contentious custody or visitation disputes, a restraining order may be sought to establish boundaries and protect the welfare of the child or children involved.
Tip: It’s important to note that obtaining a restraining order against a parent involves specific legal processes and considerations, including providing evidence or documentation of the behavior justifying the need for protection.
Legal guidance from professionals like the Zukerman Law Group can be invaluable in navigating these complex situations and ensuring that individuals are informed and supported throughout the process.
Contact us or call at 604-575-5464 to navigate the legalities of these situations and determine the most appropriate type of restraining order for your specific needs.

How to File For a Restraining Order?

How to File For a Restraining Order?

While the specific process may vary slightly by location, here’s a general outline of the steps involved in obtaining a restraining order against a parent:

Initial Contact

  • Local Courthouse: Your first step should be contacting your local courthouse. They can provide information specific to your jurisdiction, including required forms and filing procedures.
  • Domestic Violence Shelter: Domestic violence shelters offer invaluable support and resources for those experiencing abuse, regardless of the perpetrator’s relationship. They can guide you through the legal process and connect you with legal aid or advocate for your needs in court. Zukerman Law Group also works closely with local shelters and can help you navigate this initial contact.

Gather Evidence

Building a strong case is crucial. Collect any evidence that demonstrates the threatening or abusive behavior of your parents. This might include:

  • Police Reports: If you’ve filed police reports for past incidents of abuse, obtain copies for your case.
  • Medical Records: Medical documentation of injuries sustained due to abuse can be powerful evidence.
  • Witness Testimonies: If anyone witnessed the abusive behavior, written statements from them can support your claims.
  • Documentation of Threats: Keep copies of threatening texts, emails, voicemails, or social media messages.

Zukerman Law Group can advise you on the most relevant evidence for your specific situation and help you gather it effectively.

Complete the Paperwork

The specific forms you need will depend on your location. Many courthouses offer online access to these forms, or you may be able to obtain them in person.
Carefully complete the forms, outlining the details of the abuse and the protection you seek from the restraining order.

Court Hearing

A judge will review your petition and evidence during a hearing. The respondent (your parent) will also have the opportunity to present their side.
Having an experienced attorney by your side, like those at Zukerman Law Group, can be invaluable in presenting your case effectively and advocating for the strongest possible restraining order to ensure your safety.

Violating a Restraining Order

Violating a Restraining Order

A restraining order is a legal deterrent against abusive behavior and can result in severe consequences, depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the violation. Penalties include fines, mandatory counseling, probation, or jail time.
It is crucial to report any violation to the police, providing detailed information and evidence. The severity of the penalty depends on the jurisdiction and the severity of the violation.
The court may order the violator to attend anger management programs, probation, or jail time in extreme circumstances or for repeated offenses.

Conclusion

Seeking a restraining order against a parent is a challenging but necessary step to prioritize your safety. It’s a complex legal process, and understanding your options and navigating the legalities can be daunting.
Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. Zukerman Law Group is here to support you. Our Highly Experienced family law attorneys can guide you through each step, help you gather evidence, complete the necessary paperwork, and advocate for your needs in court. Contact us or call at 604-575-5464 to get started.

FAQs

What proof do you need for a restraining order in BC?

Present any evidence of physical violence before the judge, including pictures of bruises, wounds, and damaged property. Inform the judge of any previous arrests the abuser has been involved in, or obtain the arrest reports. You may be able to get these from the police department or sheriff’s office in the community where past abuse occurred.

Is a restraining order a criminal record in Canada?

In Canada, a restraining order itself is not a criminal record. It’s a civil order issued to protect you, but violating it can be a criminal offense with potential fines or jail time.

How much does a restraining order cost in BC?

In British Columbia, there is typically no fee to apply for a restraining order against a parent (known as a family law protection order) if you go through the Provincial Court.

author

Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.