Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders

Temporary Restraining Orders & Injunctions in the Context of Divorce

If your spouse or someone with whom you live has become violent against you or your children or threatened you, you may consider seeking a temporary restraining order and injunction. Sometimes restraining orders and injunctions are required in the context of a divorce to protect you or your children from your spouse. At Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C., we understand just how scary domestic violence can be and how quickly it can escalate. You should never stay in a situation where you or your children do not feel completely safe.

In Wisconsin, restraining orders are court orders that prohibit contact and/or certain other behaviors, including abuse, harassment, and using others to contact you. The process begins by filing for a temporary restraining order (TRO). The court will decide the same day you file the TRO whether it will be granted. Within 14 days of that decision, the court will schedule another hearing to determine whether a final restraining order, called an injunction, will be granted. The court can schedule this hearing before a judge whether or not the TRO is granted. Injunctions can be granted for up to 2 years for child abuse or up to 4 years for harassment, individuals at risk and domestic abuse (though for in some specific instances the injunction may be granted for up to 10 years).

There are four types of TROs and injunctions which exist and apply to various circumstances, depending on the relationship between parties:

  • A domestic abuse injunction can be issued if someone you are related to, or with whom you share an intimate relationship, has intentionally caused you physical pain, injury or illness; has impaired your physical condition, has sexually assaulted you, stalked you, damaged your property, or threatened to do any of these things.
  • A harassment injunction can be issued if a person attempts, threatens or does strike, shove, kick or otherwise subject you to physical contact; or repeatedly acts in a harassing or intimidating manner toward you for no legitimate purpose.
  • A child abuse injunction is far less commonly issued in the context of divorce than either a domestic abuse or harassment injunction but is appropriate in cases where your child has been abused by the party in question.
  • The fourth type of injunction, for individuals at risk, is also not frequently used in the context of divorce but exists to protect vulnerable adults.

Our lawyers at Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C. can help you seek a TRO or injunction or can assist you if there is already one in place.