Domestic Abuse + Temporary Restraining Orders


New Canaan Domestic Abuse Attorney                  

Domestic Abuse and Temporary Restraining Orders 

Whether you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence or have been accused of domestic violence during your divorce or custody action, understanding your legal rights and options is of the utmost importance in protecting your family. At the Family Law Firm of Healy + Eliot in New Canaan, we listen to the facts of your case and carefully consider the best action plan for your family. 

Application for Relief from Abuse / Restraining Order

Connecticut law provides that any individual who is subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or injury, threatening and/or stalking by another family or household member, may apply for relief from abuse with the Superior Court. The relief granted is typically called a Temporary Restraining Order, or “TRO.”

A TRO may be initially issued by the Court without a hearing, on an “ex parte” basis. However, if the terms of the continuation of the restraining order cannot be agreed upon by the parties and their counsel, a hearing before a Superior Court Judge will be required in order to extend the order and is typically scheduled within two weeks of the initial TRO application being granted.

Family Violence Protective Order

If law enforcement officers determine that there has been a family violence crime committed, officers may arrest and charge such person with the appropriate crime. A criminal protective order may be issued after the arrest. 

What is the difference between a Restraining Order and a Protective Order?

The main difference between a Restraining order and a Protective Order is that Restraining orders are granted by the civil/family court, and can be issued without the accused person being arrested. Protective orders are issued after the accused has been arrested for committing a family violence crime. Protective Orders may be part of a public record, due to the involvement of the police and criminal court. Court records of Restraining Orders filed in the civil/family court are not typically publicly accessible online. 

How long does a Temporary Restraining Order Last?

The length of a TRO varies in each case, however, it is limited to a one-year period of time unless the applicant files a motion to extend the TRO, and the court makes a ruling to extend it.

Domestic Violence during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Judicial Branch has established a procedure to file applications for temporary restraining orders without coming to the courthouse.

If you have questions about a domestic violence situation, the family lawyers at The Family Law Firm of Healy + Eliot can help. To schedule an in-person or virtual meeting with one of our New Canaan domestic abuse lawyers, please call 203-652-8018, or complete our online contact form.

The Family Law Firm of Healy + Eliot


The Family Law Firm of Healy + Eliot is a boutique firm devoted exclusively to the practice of family law, including divorce, alimony, child support, property distribution, child custody and access, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, modifications and enforcement proceedings.