Can a relief from abuse order be modified (changed) or extended?
You can ask the court to modify or extend your relief from abuse order by filing a motion in the court where you received the order. You can find the form online at the Vermont Judiciary website here. You will have to attend a hearing to have an order extended or modified. A judge may extend your order even if there were no incidents of abuse while you were protected by the order. Only the judge, not your own actions or behavior, can change or cancel the relief from abuse order.
It is also be possible that the defendant (abuser) can file a motion to modify the parts of an ex parte relief from abuse order regarding child custody or possession of the home. If the judge thinks that the abuser has given “compelling” (convincing) reasons why the judge should change the order prior to the scheduled hearing date, the judge can schedule a hearing upon two days’ notice (or less) to you to consider the abuser’s request.1 At the hearing, you will have a chance to advocate to the judge why the order should not be changed.
1 V.R.F.P. Rule 9(g)(1),(2)