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Know the Laws: Connecticut

UPDATED January 10, 2017

Enforcing Your Out-of-State Order in Connecticut

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If you are planning to move to Connecticut or are going to be in Connecticut for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

General rules for out-of-state orders in Connecticut

back to topWill the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.*  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our CT State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

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back to topCan I have my out-of-state restraining order changed, extended, or canceled in CT?

No.  Only the state that issued your restraining order can change, extend, or cancel the order.  You cannot have this done by a court in Connecticut.    

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued.  You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued. 

If your order does expire while you are living in Connecticut, you may be able to get a new one issued in Connecticut but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Connecticut.  To find out more information on how to get a restraining order in Connecticut, visit our Restraining Orders (Relief from Abuse Orders) page. 

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back to topI was granted temporary custody with my out-of-state protection order.  Will I still have temporary custody of my children in CT?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Connecticut can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area click here CT Finding a Lawyer.


* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

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