Following up on an earlier post on how restraining orders in Massachusetts are granted and what they can do to protect an individual, there are other ways in which a restraining order may assist an individual who is in fear of imminent serious physical harm. M.G.L. c. 209A, §3(e) grants a court the authority to:
[order] the defendant to pay temporary support for the plaintiff or any child in the plaintiff’s custody or both, when the defendant has a legal obligation to support such a person. In determining the amount to be paid, the court shall apply the standards established in the child support guidelines. Each judgment or order of support which is issued, reviewed or modified pursuant to this chapter shall conform to and shall be enforced in accordance with the provisions of section 12 of chapter 119A…
The reference to M.G.L. c. 119A, §12 requires that such orders are to be by wage assignment through the Department of Revenue. The child support order must also be for a determined period of time, which is unlike a traditional child support order, which continues until the child is emancipated, or application of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines to the parents’ incomes would result in an “inconsistent” order.
If you are in fear of imminent serious physical harm, you should contact the police immediately. There are many resources that the Victim Witness Advocates office will be able to help with. Your safety, and that of your children, is your first concern.
If you have any questions about how a restraining may protect you, or have had a restraining order filed against you, call the attorneys at Finn & Eaton, P.C. or email us to schedule a free one-hour consultation.