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Legal Information: Missouri

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
August 15, 2019

What protections can I get in an order of protection due to domestic violence?

An ex parte order of protection can do the following:

  • Forbid the abuser from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, molesting you or disturbing your peace;
  • Forbid the abuser from entering your home when it is:
    • Jointly owned, leased or rented or jointly occupied by you and the abuser; or
    • Owned, leased, rented or occupied by you individually; or
    • Jointly owned, leased or rented by you and someone else (not the abuser); or
    • Jointly occupied by you and someone else (not the abuser) as long as the abuser does not have a property interest in the home;
  • Forbid the abuser from communicating with you in any manner or through any medium (i.e., phone, computer, etc.);
  • Make a temporary order of custody of your minor children where appropriate;1 and/or
  • Include such other terms as the judge reasonably believes are necessary to ensure your safety.2

A full order of protection (after notice to the abuser and a hearing) can:

  • Include all of the terms listed above; AND
  • Order any of the following (as long as your petition has facts/allegations relating to these topics and your petition specifically asks for them):3
    • Award custody of any minor child born to or adopted by the parties when:
      • the court has jurisdiction (power) over such child;
      • no prior order regarding custody is pending or has been made; and
      • the best interests of the child require that a custody order be issued;
    • Establish a visitation schedule that is in the best interests of the child;
    • Order the abuser to pay child support;
    • Order the abuser to pay spousal support (maintenance) for up to 180 days if you are legally married;4
    • If you are married to or have children together, the judge can order the abuser to make rent or mortgage payments on the home in which you are living or on a different home (rather than the one you lived in with the abuser) if you choose;
    • Give you temporary possession of personal property, such as cars, checkbooks, keys, and other personal items;
    • Prohibit the abuser from transferring, selling or getting rid of property mutually owned or leased by you and the abuser;
    • Order the abuser to participate in batterers’ counseling or drug treatment;
    • Order the abuser to pay a reasonable fee for housing and other services that are/were provided to you by a domestic violence shelter;
    • Order the abuser to pay court costs;
    • Order the abuser to pay the cost of medical treatment and services that are/were provided to you as a result of injuries due to domestic violence committed by the abuser;5
    • Order the abuser to pay your attorney’s fees;6 and/or
    • Direct a wireless service provider to transfer the rights to, and billing responsibility for, any wireless service (cell phone) number(s) that you or any minor children in your care use, if you are not already the account holder.7

1 MO ST § 455.045
2 MO ST § 455.050.1
3 MO ST § 455.050.4
4 MO ST § 455.050.8
5 MO ST § 455.050.3
6 MO ST § 455.075
7 MO ST §§ 455.050.9(1); 455.523.2(9)