Legal Information: Delaware

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
April 11, 2016

Who can file for an order of protection from abuse?

You can file a petition for yourself, your minor child, or on behalf of an adult who is impaired.*  To be eligible for an order of protection from abuse, an act of abuse must have been committed against you (or your minor child or the impaired adult) by:


  • a current or former spouse;
  • someone with whom you were "cohabitating" (living together as a couple, with or without a child in common);
  • your custodian; 
  • your child;
  • someone with whom you have or had a "substantive" dating relationship;
  • someone with whom you have a child in common, even if you don't live together;
  • someone you are related to by blood or marriage with whom you live (together in one household); or
  • someone you are related to in any of the following ways:
    • mother, father
    • mother-in-law, father-in-law
    • brother, sister
    • brother-in-law, sister-in-law
    • grandparent, grandchild
    • stepmother, stepfather
    • child, stepchild, daughter-in-law, son-in-law.**

This definition of relationships includes both blood relationships and relationships by adoption.  Also, it does not matter if a parent's parental rights were legally terminated.**  For example, if your mother's rights were terminated but she was abusing you, you could still file for an order of protection against her.


* 10 Del.C. § 1041(3)

** 10 Del.C. §§ 1041(2); 901(12)