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Legal Information: Georgia

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of October 31, 2023

What can I do if the abuser violates the order?

If the abuser violates the order, s/he can be arrested. You can call law enforcement and report that you have a family violence protective order and that the abuser has violated the order.

For a non-violent violation of certain terms of a family violence protective order, the abuser can be convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violating a family violence order.1 It can also be possible to be convicted of the felony offense of aggravated stalking if the abuser follows you, places you under surveillance, or contacts you without your consent for the purpose of harassing and intimidating you.2

If the abuser violates the order by not paying support for yourself or your minor children, generally this is not handled by the police/criminal justice system. Instead, you can file an action for contempt or garnishment with the court. An action for contempt is a legal procedure to get the court to make the abuser obey the order and/or to punish him/her. An action for garnishment asks the court to take money for support directly out of his/her paycheck. For legal advice on your particular situation, you may find a lawyer on our GA Finding a Lawyer page.

For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.

1 O.C.G.A. § 16-5-95(b), (c)
2 O.C.G.A. § 16-5-91