Obtaining orders of protection can be challenging

Spousal abuse and control do not necessarily stop at the time when a divorce is finalised. In many cases, former spouses will continue to threaten the safety of exes and their children. While orders of protection can be obtained in British Columbia, it could be challenging to seek permanent restraining orders; knowing the legal requirements may help.

Rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt (required in criminal court), the family court bases its decisions on a balance of probabilities. The decision may be made based upon which party tells the most believable story, and which party seems more credible. The person applying for a restraining order will also have to convince the court of the subjective reasonableness of his or her fear.

This means that there is a legitimate reason to fear ongoing abuse by the former spouse. Compared to the more complicated process of proving objective fear, subjective fear indicates that while other people may not fear the individual, the applicant (and/or his or her children) have reason to fear ongoing abuse. To convince the court of the danger, the applicant must be able to provide detailed descriptions of past actions that indicate future danger.

Seeking orders of protection can be a challenging process because even the family court judge’s attitude toward spousal abuse may play a role. Fortunately, nobody needs to fight this battle alone. A skilled and experienced British Columbia family law attorney can explain the requirements and steps to follow to obtain this form of protection.

Source: lukesplace.ca, “What is required to obtain a permanent restraining order?“, Accessed on Dec. 17, 2016

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