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Legal Information: Georgia

Restraining Orders

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October 30, 2020

What protections can I get in a family violence protective order?

An ex parte family violence protective order can:

  • Order that the abuser not do or attempt to do any of the following: injure, mistreat, bother, follow, harass, harm, or abuse you or your family or household members;
  • Order the abuser not to interfere with your travel, transportation, or communication;
  • Order the abuser not to follow, place under surveillance, or contact you for the purpose of harassing and intimidating you;
  • Give you possession of the house and force the abuser to leave (you can ask the court to have the sheriff send someone home with you to enforce this part of the order);
  • Make the abuser provide decent alternate housing for a spouse, former spouse, parent, or child of the parties;
  • Order the abuser to stay a certain number of yards away from you and/or your children, your residence, workplace, children’s school, etc. and to have no contact with you, directly or indirectly;
  • Award you (or the other party) temporary child support and/or spousal support;
  • Give you temporary custody of your children and set temporary visitation rights;
  • Order the abuser not to get rid of and pets or property of yours or that you share with the respondent and provide for possession of the personal property of the parties;
  • Order the abuser not to disconnect or have disconnected home utilities, change or have changed and/or cancel or have canceled auto, health or life insurance for you, your children or for the respondent and not interfere with your mail or your children’s mail;
  • Order law enforcement to help you get your personal property if you are not given possession of the home and order the abuser to return certain specified property to you; and/or
  • Give you possession of a car.1

A final family violence protective order can:

  • Order all of the protections listed above;
  • Order the abuser to go to counseling to try to prevent future family violence and/or drug or alcohol counseling; and
  • Award costs and attorney’s fees to either party.2

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on your need for protection and the facts of your case.

1 O.C.G.A. § 19-13-4(a); Georgia Courts website, petition for family violence ex parte protective order
2 O.C.G.A. § 19-13-4(a); Georgia Courts website, petition for family violence twelve month protective order