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Legal Information: Wisconsin

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of December 14, 2023

Am I eligible to file for a domestic abuse injunction?

If you are an adult, you may be able to file against any of the following adults who have committed domestic abuse against you:

  • a current or former spouse;
  • a parent;
  • an adult child;
  • a person related to you by blood or adoption;
  • a person with whom you currently live or formerly lived;
  • anyone with whom you have had a child, even if you were never married to him/her;
  • someone you are dating or have dated; or
  • a caregiver.1

You can also file for a domestic abuse injunction on behalf of an incapacitated adult who is the victim of domestic abuse if you are that adult’s legal guardian.2

If you are being abused or harassed by someone who does not fit into one of the above-listed relationships, there are other types of orders that you may be eligible for. You can find more information on our child abuse restraining orders page, our harassment restraining orders page, and our individual at risk restraining orders page. You may combine domestic abuse, child abuse, or harassment petitions into one case if the respondent is the same in all of them. If you do this, the judge may combine all your hearings into one.3

1 Wis. Stat. § 813.12(1)(am), (1)(b), (1)(c)
2 Wis. Stat. § 813.12(5)(d)
3 Wis. Stat. § 813.127

Can I get an injunction against a same-sex partner?

In Wisconsin, you may apply for an injunction against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible to file for a domestic abuse injunction? You must also be the victim of an act of domestic abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Wisconsin?

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

How much does it cost? Do I need a lawyer?

There are no fees for filing for a domestic abuse injunction.1

You do not need a lawyer to file for a domestic abuse injunction. However, you may wish to have a lawyer, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. Even if you can’t get a lawyer to represent you, you might want to get advice from a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected.

If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help you with your case, you can find information on legal assistance on our WI Finding a Lawyer page. Domestic violence organizations in your area also should be able to help you through the legal process and may have lawyer referrals. Please see our WI State and Local Resources page for organizations in your area.

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.

1 Wis. Stat. § 814.61(1)(d)