From time to time, nearly all married couples face some type of disagreement. In some cases, such tiffs may turn into more serious arguments. Should things become threatening or otherwise physical, however, law enforcement may respond to help diffuse the situation.

Following a domestic dispute, law enforcement may seek an emergency protective order to help keep those involved in domestic violence incidents apart.

What is an emergency protective order?

According to the Superior Court of Orange County, a type of restraining order, the court may issue emergency protective orders at the request of law enforcement. Such orders require the temporary separation of or otherwise restrict the interactions between those who have suffered physical, verbal or sexual abuse at the hands of someone with whom they have had a close relationship. Typically, the authorities request such orders in cases when they believe the danger exists for further domestic violence, child or elder abuse, or abduction.

How long does an EPO last?

According to the Judicial Council of California, emergency protection orders take effect immediately. They may remain in place for up to seven days. During that time, domestic violence victims may petition the court for a temporary restraining order to offer long-term protection.

What can an EPO do?

Judges may include various requirements and restrictions in domestic violence restraining orders. For example, the judge may require that the alleged abuser remain a specified distance from any alleged victims, prohibit alleged abusers from contacting alleged victims or require alleged abusers to fulfill certain financial obligations. People should keep in mind, that while an EPO may specify that they and their spouse remain separated, such orders cannot dissolve a marriage.