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Legal Information: Missouri

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of January 1, 2024

What protections can I get in an order of protection due to stalking or sexual assault?

An ex parte order of protection can:

  • forbid the abuser from doing or threatening to do any of the following:
    • commit domestic violence against you; 
    • sexually assault, stalk, or bother (molest) you; 
    • disturb your peace; or
    • be violent towards a pet;
  • forbid the abuser from entering your home when it is:
    • jointly owned, leased, rented, or occupied by you and the abuser; 
    • owned, leased, rented, or occupied by you individually; 
    • jointly owned, leased, or rented by you and someone else who is not the abuser; or
    • jointly occupied by you and someone else who is 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 in any way, such as by phone, computer, etc.;
  • make a temporary order of custody of your minor children where appropriate;
  • make a temporary order of possession of pets where appropriate; and
  • include other terms that the judge reasonably believes are necessary to ensure your safety.1

full order of protection, issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing, can:

  • include all of the terms listed above;2 and
  • order any of the following if your petition includes facts or allegations about these topics and specifically asks for these things:
    • award custody of any minor child born to or adopted by the parties when:
      • the court has power (jurisdiction) 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;
    • make 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;
    • if you are married or have children together, the judge can order the abuser to:
      • continue to pay the mortgage or rent for your home; or 
      • pay your rent if you stay somewhere else;
    • order you to have possession and care of any pet, along with any money necessary to cover medical costs that may have resulted from the abuse of the pet;
    • 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 jointly owned or leased by you and the abuser;
    • order the abuser to participate in batterers’ counseling or drug treatment;
    • order the abuser to pay for housing and other services provided to you by a domestic violence shelter;
    • order the abuser to pay court costs;
    • order the abuser to pay for medical treatment and services provided to you as a result of injuries caused by the abuser’s domestic violence;3
    • direct a wireless service provider to transfer the rights to, and billing responsibility for, any cell phone number(s) that you or any minor children in your care use, if you are not already the account holder;4 and
    • order the abuser to pay your attorney’s fees for the time period before bringing the court case, during the court case, and after the entry of judgment.5 

1 MO ST §§ 455.045; 455.050(1)
2 MO ST § 455.050(1)
3 MO ST § 455.050(3)-(8)
4 MO ST § 455.050(9)(1)
5 MO ST § 455.075