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The basics of a family law protection order in British Columbia

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Ignoring the warning signs or the threat of family violence can leave you and your children at great risk. It is sometimes difficult for those at risk to believe the threat is real; after all, they share love and family with this person. However, the statistics showthat family violence is a very real problem in British Columbia. When a loved one is threatening harm against you or your family, the legal system can help. Below you will find some basic information about family law protections orders in BC.

A family law protection order is available for family members only. This means there must be a family connection. Examples of people you can receive protection from under this order include a spouse or ex-spouse, your child, a partner or someone you live with and anyone related to you or your partner.

This type of protection order can include many requirements. Examples include orders prohibiting contact with you or your children; to stay away from you at home, work and other locations; and to refrain from following or stalking members of your family.

It is important to know that family law protection orders made in British Columbia do not usually apply in other Canadian provinces. You should also understand the importance of carrying the order with you wherever you go. This way, you can show it to law enforcement if the person named violates the order. Family law protection orders may last for one year unless a judge includes a specific date for the order to end.

While you can file for a protection order on your own, the government recommends acquiring a lawyer. Doing so can help you navigate the courts and provide you with additional assistance to ensure you and your children remain protected.

Source: Legal Services Society, “Family law protection orders,” accessed Aug. 22, 2016

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