Who can qualify for a domestic violence restraining order?

In order to qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, you must have a “domestic” relationship with the abuser. Every state has its own rules for what qualifies as a domestic relationship. In almost every state, you will qualify if the abuser is someone:

  • You’re married to
  • You used to be married to
  • You live with
  • You used to live with
  • In your immediate family

In some states, other relationships qualify, including people who are:

  • Dating
  • Involved in a sexual or intimate relationship
  • Engaged to be married
  • Parents of the same child
  • Extended family
  • Related by marriage or adoption
  • Related through the foster care system

Because the laws are so different in every state, it is important to find out who qualifies for domestic violence restraining orders in your state.

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