Step 2: Get an ex parte temporary family violence protective order
If you are in immediate danger, you can ask for an ex parte temporary family violence protective order when you file your petition. According to the Georgia Courts self-help manual, each court operates a little differently. In some cases, you have to tell the bailiff or the judge that you have a family violence petition and want to have an ex parte hearing. In some courts, the judge may meet with you in his/her chambers - the equivalent of a judge's office (the abuser will not be present). You will be sworn in and the judge may ask you questions about your case and may ask you what protections you are seeking. Domestic violence organizations often help people get through the ex parte process.