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How Long Do Restraining Orders Last?

In the state of Massachusetts, a judge can issue two different types of restraining orders, one of which is known as an abuse prevention order. For this specific type of restraining order, the plaintiff or the defendant must have either been married to one another or are still married, currently share the same household or used to live together, are related by blood or marriage, have a child together, or are currently dating or used to date. If they do not meet these qualifications, a harassment prevention order could be filed instead. If you are able to obtain an abuse prevention order, however, you might be wondering how long this will last or if it is possible to extend it.

The Duration of a Restraining Order

When you initially file for a restraining order, a judge will set a review date to take place within 10 days. During those 10 days, you will have what is known as an ex-parte protective order that essentially functions as a temporary restraining order until the hearing. During the 10-day during, the defendant has the opportunity to appear and explain his or her side before a judge either grants or denies your request.

If the judge grants your request, the restraining order he or she issues can last for up to a year. It can potentially be less if you request for a shorter period of time or if the judge believes there is a reason to make last less than a year. However, it is also possible for a restraining order to become permanent after a year. At the first hearing, the judge would still issue it for up to one year and, after the year passes, another hearing could be scheduled, where the judge could potentially make the order permanent if he or she believes it is necessary. This might even be done after the second year elapses if, after the first year, it was only extended for another year.

Restraining Order Attorney in Newton

If you believe you are in need of a restraining order, make sure you seek legal guidance to ensure you are able to get through this process quickly and efficiently. At The Halks Firm, our Newton family law attorneys are dedicated to assisting clients navigate a variety of complex legal matters, including those involving domestic violence. Ease some of the burdens and obtain the help you need today.

For compassionate legal assistance, contact our law firm at (781) 995-0107 to request your free initial case evaluation.