Spousal abuse is a form of domestic violence when a person experiences abuse from their own spouse. Regardless of whether it was the first time your spouse hit you, it is still spousal abuse. New Jersey domestic violence laws protect all household members from domestic violence. If you fear for your safety and that of your children, you should immediately call 911. You can then apply for a temporary restraining order against your abusive spouse.
What is a temporary restraining order, and how do you get one?
A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a type of restraining order that prevents your spouse from getting within proximity of you. Only a judge has the authority to grant a TRO. You can obtain a TRO in several ways, including:
- You can go to the Superior Court in the county where you or your spouse live or where the domestic violence occurred.
- You can also go to the police department where you or your spouse live or where the domestic violence occurred.
If you go to the Superior Court, a hearing officer will talk to you before presenting your case to a judge. If you apply for a TRO at a police department, the police officers will also discuss your situation with you first and then contact a judge for a TRO hearing. Whether you decide to go directly to the Superior court or the police department, you must be ready to provide details of the incident and proof.
Why apply for a TRO?
A TRO prohibits physical contact between you and your abusive spouse before your court hearing with a judge, which the court will schedule within ten days after granting a TRO. You and your spouse will appear at a final restraining order (FRO) hearing to make the restraining order permanent.
Facing your abuser will be incredibly challenging, especially because it is your spouse. However, this may be the only way you can protect yourself from your abuser.