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Legal Information: Delaware

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of March 26, 2024

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.1  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.2

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.2  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.

1 10 Del.C. § 1041(3)
2 10 Del.C. §§ 1041(2); 901(12)