How to Place a Restraining Order Against a Husband

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A restraining order is a court order that can protect you from threats and injuries made by your husband. The court will order your husband to stop harassment and threats of violence and to stay away from you; or if your husband is still living with you, the court may even tell him to move out of your home. If you have children, the court can give you temporary custody. Obtaining a restraining order is usually a simple process that costs nothing.

Gather your evidence. In order to convince a judge, you will need to have dates, times and places that your husband threatened, harassed or abused you. List the most recent acts first, and write down the names of witnesses if you have them. If you called the police about your husband, you should obtain a copy of the police report from the police department.

Complete the correct forms. Ask the clerk at your local courthouse for the correct forms, which vary by state. You may also be able to obtain the forms from a local domestic violence organization. If you have children and you want temporary custody, you'll have to fill out an additional form.

Sign the documents in front of the clerk or a notary public and file the forms. You will usually not be charged a fee if your husband's actions are a potential misdemeanor or felony (for example, physical violence), or if you have a low income. Some courts may not charge a fee at all for filing a restraining order.

If you have filed for an immediate restraining order (called an ex parte restraining order), the judge may talk to you immediately after you file the form.

If you do not get an immediate restraining order, make sure you show up for all court hearings.


  • You have to write your address on the form, but you can request that this not be disclosed to your husband. There may be a box on the form which requires a check, or you may have to fill out an additional form requesting nondisclosure of your address. You must know where your husband lives or works so that he can be served with the court papers.



About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.