What types of protective orders are there? How long do they last?
A protective order is a court order that is designed to stop your abuser from hurting you and your family. There are two types of protective orders.
A temporary order is designed to offer you immediate, emergency protection from the abuser. Temporary orders are granted only if you can prove to the judge through your testimony or petition/affidavit that you need one to prevent immediate harm to you or your family. A judge will assume that if you are asking for a temporary order you will also want a permanent order.
A temporary order generally lasts until the court hearing that you must have in order to receive a permanent order. This usually takes place within ten days after the abuser has been served with the temporary order. If you and the abuser have minor children together, a temporary order can only last up to 30 days, maximum. However, if you do not have minor children together, a temporary protective order can be longer than 30 days, up to a maximum of one year.1
A final order can be issued only after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to tell your sides of the story. It offers longer-term legal protection than the temporary order. A final order can last up until such time that the judge believes is appropriate. The expiration date will be clearly written on the order.2
However, if you are given temporary custody, visitation, or child support in a final protective order, those terms are only effective for 180 days. For a longer-lasting order addressing those issues, you would have to file separate petitions for custody, visitation, or support. If at the end of the 180-day period, neither party has filed a separate petition regarding those issues, the custody, visitation, or support terms will go back to whatever order was in effect regarding those topics when the protective order was granted.3
1 MS Code § 93-21-15(1)(b)
2 MS Code § 93-21-15(2)(b)
3 MS Code § 93-21-15(2)(c)