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Restraining Orders in Phoenix: 5 Facts to Know

What do you know about restraining orders in Phoenix? While nobody wants to think about the unfortunate situation of having to obtain a restraining order at any point in her or her life, it's often an unfortunate reality.

Because we often can't predict how certain relationships will turn out, or what possible dangers or issues we'll come across in our life, it's best to be prepared.

Here are five facts to remember about restraining orders in Phoenix:

  1. Not reliable for safety. A restraining order doesn't promise safety. More accurately, it's a legal document that orders action. In Arizona, restraining orders are generally used to prohibit a particular person from coming anywhere near you, your home, your place of work, your school, or any other location that you designate in an order.
  2. Not allowed for certain actions. A restraining order cannot be used to change custody or visitation orders with your ex-spouse nor can it be used to resolve landlord/tenant disputes.
  3. Time limit. Restraining orders don't last forever. In Arizona, restraining orders last for up to one year. A modified restraining order also expires a year after the service of the initial order.
  4. Specific activity. Only specific types of activity can be addressed by the order. This includes enjoining one from committing acts of domestic violence, keeping an individual away from a listed place, requiring an offender to participate in a domestic violence treatment program, or prohibiting someone from having a firearm.
  5. Two types. Phoenix offers two types of restraining orders, depending on your relationship with the party you want to restrain:
  6. An order of protection is used when you're dealing with a party you're married or were married to, someone who lives or lived with you, someone you share a child (or fetus) in common, or the a person who is a parent, grandparent, in-law, or sibling. An injunction against harassment, on the other hand, is used for persons who you've dated but have never lived together, persons with whom you share a workplace, or someone with whom you have a relationship that doesn't fall within the scope of any relationship required for an order of protection.

While obtaining a restraining order may not require an attorney, you may want to consult with one. Because the actual act of imposing a restraining order on someone can be severe, you should be sure you're doing it for the right reasons -- and that you have the necessary proof.

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