TPO’s and Domestic Violence
If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, there are remedies you can use to help protect yourself and your family. The judge can issue a TPO (Temporary Protective Order) to prohibit your spouse from physical contact, communication of any kind, and harassment. If you are granted a TPO, you may also be awarded temporary rights and remedies such as: temporary custody of the children, temporary exclusive use of the martial home, and child support.
The procedure for obtaining a temporary protective order for family violence is unique compared to other court filings in that the victim must go to the Superior Court in the county in which the Defendant resides to file a Petition alleging acts of family violence, as defined in O.C.G.A. §19-13-1. Within the 30 days after the order is granted, a hearing will be scheduled which both parties will attend. At the hearing, the victim will present evidence of abuse (i.e. pictures, recordings, doctor’s reports, etc.) and the Defendant will have a chance to present his/her innocence. If family violence is proven by a preponderance of evidence, the order may be extended.
Georgia’s definition for domestic abuse is broad and can encompass physical, verbal, emotional, economic or religious abuse. If you think you are a victim of abuse, talk to your attorney and discuss possible remedies for your situation.
Unfortunately, sometimes spouses are falsely accused of abuse and violence. If you are dealing with unfair accusations, contact an attorney right away to protect your rights.