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Legal Information: Kentucky

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 15, 2023

What protections can I get in an emergency protective order and a domestic violence order?

An emergency protective order (EPO) can do the following:

  1. order the abuser to not commit acts of domestic violence and abuse against you;
  2. order the abuser to not contact you or anyone else specified in the order, including contact that is made face-to-face, by telephone, in writing, electronic, through a third party, etc.;
  3. order the abuser to stay up to 500 feet away from you or anyone else specified in the order;
  4. order the abuser to not come within a certain distance of a specific home, school, or place of employment;
  5. order the abuser to not sell or destroy any of your property or any property you share with him/her;
  6. order the abuser to leave the home you share;
  7. give you temporary custody of your children;
  8. specifically state which communications are allowed and which communications are not allowed;
  9. allow either party to get his/her personal belongings from the home and order law enforcement to assist, if requested; and
  10. order any other protections necessary to eliminate future domestic violence.1

A domestic violence order (DVO) can include:

  • the protections listed above in numbers 1 - 8; and
  • the judge can also do the following:
    • give you temporary child support; 
    • order that either or both of you receive counseling services available in the community;
    • give you possession of any shared domestic animal;
    • if you request it, allow limited contact or communication between you and the abuser; and
    • if you request it, allow you and the abuser to be in a common area together under limited circumstances with specific restrictions laid out by the judge.2

Note: After a final DVO is issued, it’s possible to file a motion to amend it to request that the abuser wear a GPS device. The judge can grant your request if the abuser has committed a serious violation of a prior domestic violence order and if the judge believes that the GPS device would increase your safety.3

1 KRS § 403.730(2)(a); see also the petition on the Kentucky Courts website
2 KRS § 403.740(1)
3 KRS § 403.761(1)