What is a Restraining Order? - Zukerman Law

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a rule made by a family court to set certain limits based on each case’s needs. It tells a person where they can’t go and who they can’t talk to. For example, it might stop someone from getting too close to you, your kids, or where you live or work. It can also limit how they can contact you or your kids, usually through a special agency. Breaking these rules is a crime. This order helps keep people safe by keeping a safe space between them and the person they’re worried about.

Understanding Your Eligibility for a Restraining Order

Understanding Your Eligibility for a Restraining Order

Are you considering a restraining order for protection but not sure if you qualify? It’s important to know who can apply for one in family court. Here are the key situations that make you eligible:

  • Marriage Ties: If you are or were once married to the person you want to restrain, you’re eligible to apply. This applies whether your marriage was brief or lasted many years.
  • Past Cohabitation: Eligibility isn’t limited to marriage. If you’ve lived with the individual at any point, regardless of the duration or nature of your relationship, you can apply for a restraining order. This includes former roommates, partners, or anyone you shared a home with.
  • Shared Parenthood: If you and the person share a child, whether through birth or adoption, this relationship gives you the right to seek a restraining order. This is aimed at protecting not just you, but also your child from potential harm.

It’s crucial to understand that these conditions are inclusive, meaning they apply irrespective of gender or sexual orientation. Your safety is paramount, and the law recognizes various types of relationships in this context.

However, if your situation doesn’t quite fit these scenarios, there’s still an avenue for protection. A peace bond in criminal court can be sought. This is a broader option and can cover a wider range of relationships, including acquaintances, colleagues, or even strangers who may pose a threat.

Remember, the primary goal of both restraining orders and peace bonds is to offer protection and safety. If you’re in a situation where you feel threatened, it’s important to explore these legal avenues to ensure your well-being and peace of mind.

Find Your Safety: Understanding Different Types of Restraining Orders

Find Your Safety: Understanding Different Types of Restraining Orders

There are several types of restraining orders, each designed for specific situations:

  • Standard Restraining Order: Commonly used in cases of domestic violence. It doesn’t require you to show proof of abuse and can last up to five years. You also have the option to renew it.
  • Emergency Restraining Order: If you’re facing an immediate threat, this order can quickly give you protection for up to six months, and it can be extended if needed.
  • No Contact Restraining Order: This order completely stops the person from contacting you. It also keeps them away from places like your home or workplace.
  • Financial Abuse Restraining Order: If someone is controlling or misusing your money, this order helps by limiting their access to your finances and assets.
How Quickly Can You Get a Restraining Order in Canada?

How Quickly Can You Get a Restraining Order in Canada?

The time it takes for a court in Canada to decide on a restraining order varies. It mostly depends on the details of your case and how many witnesses are involved. Usually, a judge will make a decision within 30 days after your court hearing. But in more complicated cases, it might take a few months to get a decision.

Getting a Restraining Order in Canada: What Proof Do You Need?

Getting a Restraining Order in Canada: What Proof Do You Need?

If you want a restraining order in Canada, you need to show solid evidence that you or your children are in danger. Here’s what you should have:

  • Explain Your Fear: You need to clearly state why you’re scared, based on what the other person has done or said.
  • Detailed Incidents: Describe specific events that made you feel threatened. Include any threats, harassment, or physical harm. The more details, the better.
  • Supporting Evidence: Things like police reports, medical records of injuries from the abuse, or threatening messages all help prove your case.
  • Witness Statements: If anyone saw what happened, their stories are crucial. They provide an outside perspective.
  • Photos of Harm: Pictures of any injuries or damage caused by the abuser are powerful evidence.
  • History of Abuse: If there’s been ongoing abuse or harassment, list these instances. It shows a pattern of behavior.

Gathering this proof can be tough, and getting legal advice is often necessary. A lawyer can help make your case stronger. The more detailed evidence you have, the better your chances of getting the restraining order.

Protect Yourself with Confidence

Although applying for a restraining order might feel overwhelming, it’s a vital step toward safeguarding yourself. This order enforces boundaries, ensuring the abuser stays at a safe distance and doesn’t enter shared spaces. It’s important to remember that breaking a restraining order can have criminal repercussions. If you’re considering this option, seeking advice from professional family lawyers like Zukerman Law Group can help you determine if it’s the right choice for your situation.


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.