In North Carolina, the most common method of diffusing a situation of domestic violence is the grant of a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO). These temporary restraining orders protect victims by preventing their alleged abuser from contacting or coming near them. However, as we all know, sometimes circumstances change.

Situations arise where the people involved might have a change of heart or lifting the order may help to resolve a difficult challenge. Today, we cover when and how a protective order can end.

Do DVPO’s have a time limit?

The initial domestic violence protective order can prevent contact for up to one year. After that, they can be renewed, multiple times if necessary, for “good cause.”

When it might be appropriate to lift the protective order

Sometimes, even if the people involved in the protective order have not reconciled their relationship, it may be in their best interest to lift it. For example, if domestic violence has led to divorce, the protective order can slow down divorce proceedings by encumbering communication between spouses.

How are protective orders lifted?

A Domestic Violence Protective Order can end one of two ways: the victim can file or provide consent to dissolve the protective order, or the alleged abuser can petition the court to consider lifting it. In many cases, the court will consider the current relationship between the parties, and whether the alleged abuser can exert control over the victim. If they believe the victim is no longer in danger, the protective order can go away.

However, there still may be criminal implications relating to the domestic violence that led to the protective order. Whether someone feels they have been falsely accused of domestic violence, or they wish to remove an order to facilitate a divorce, an attorney experienced in these cases can help.