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Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
December 3, 2020

What protections can I get in a domestic violence order for protection?

In a temporary, ex parte domestic violence order of protection, the judge can order the following relief:

  • order the abuser not commit acts of domestic violence against you;
  • order the abuser to stay away from your residence (either shared with the abuser or your own), work, school or from the school or day care of your child;
  • prohibit the abuser from coming within a certain distance from a specific location;
  • order the abuser to not interfere with your custody of the minor children or remove the children from the jurisdiction of the court;
  • order the abuser not to contact you or your children or members of your household;
  • order the abuser not to harass you, follow you, keep you under physical or electronic surveillance, or cyberstalk you;
  • order the abuser not to use telephonic, audiovisual, or other electronic means to monitor the actions, location, or communication of you, your children, or members of your household; and
  • require the abuser to surrender his/her firearms if certain conditions are met.1Note: You can read about the conditions that must be met for the judge to order the firearm removed on our WA Statutes page in section (1) of RCW 9.41.800.

As part of a final domestic violence order of protection, the judge can order the following relief:

  • order the abuser not commit acts of domestic violence against you;
  • order the abuser not to harass you, follow you, keep you under physical or electronic surveillance, or cyberstalk you;
  • order the abuser not to use telephonic, audiovisual, or other electronic means to monitor the actions, location, or communication of you, your children, or members of your household;
  • remove the abuser from the home that you share;
  • order the abuser to stay away from your residence, work, school or from the school or day care of your child;
  • prohibit the abuser from coming within a certain distance from a specific location;
  • order the abuser not to contact you or your children or members of the your household;
  • give one parent temporary custody of children;
  • set a schedule for visitation with minor children;
  • grant you possession of essential personal items including pets; (Note: You can get sole custody or control of any pet owned by you, the respondent, or your child. The abuser can also be prohibited from coming within a specific distance or to specific locations where the pet is regularly found);
  • grant you use of a vehicle;
  • order the abuser to pay administrative court costs and service fees, and to reimburse you for costs incurred in bringing the action (such as reasonable attorney’s fees);
  • order the abuser to participate in a batterers’ treatment program;
  • require the respondent to submit to electronic monitoring;
  • require the abuser to surrender his/her firearms if certain conditions are met (Note: You can read about the conditions that must be met for the judge to order the firearm removed on our WA Statutes page in section (1) of RCW 9.41.800.); and
  • order any other relief that the judge believes is necessary for your protection and the protection of your family or household members.2

Whether or not a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

Note: A domestic violence protection order cannot:

  • order child support;
  • order maintenance (alimony);
  • assign most property to either party; or
  • establish permanent child custody.3

1 R.C.W. § 26.50.070(1)
2 R.C.W. § 26.50.060(1)
3Washington Courts website