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Who can file for a protective order in Delaware?

Residents of Delaware rightfully expect to feel safe in their own homes. Unfortunately, many people face situations of domestic violence. Knowing who can file a protection order is important.

What are the laws of protective orders?

A protective order may be issued by the court to a person who is seeking to keep an abuser away from them. Protective orders require the person named in the order to stay a specific distance away from the individual who obtains the order. These orders are often used to prevent an abusive former partner from being near the victim or to keep stalkers away.

Who can file for a protective order?

When there is a situation of domestic violence, a person can file a Petition for Protection from Abuse with the court. Certain people can file when they have a specific relationship with their abuser. Those relationships include the following:

  • Spouses or former spouses
  • Unwed romantic partners
  • Former romantic partners living apart who share a child
  • People in a current or former dating relationship
  • A parent or child of the abuser or an in-law
  • A sibling of the abuser or an in-law
  • A child of the abuser or an in-law
  • A grandparent of the abuser

The purpose of a protective order awarded to any of these people is to prevent further domestic violence from occurring. Domestic violence is any type of abuse toward a person with whom the abuser shares a residence. The petition must describe the type of abuse involved against the victim or victims.

An order of protection from abuse can last for up to one year. However, if there is a term in the order stating that the abuser is prohibited from contacting the victim, the order could last two years or even permanently. For example, if there are aggravating circumstances present, such as if the abuser used a weapon against the victim, the order could be permanent. It may be helpful for individuals to know more about the protection offered when they request an order.