The Nelson Law Group

How to Obtain a Family Violence Protective Order in Georgia

By Pierce Blitch

Conflicts within the family are some of the hardest to handle. When these conflicts turn violent, it’s crucial to know how to protect yourself legally. In Georgia, the Family Violence Act offers crucial protection and provides various legal remedies to those impacted by domestic abuse.

Understanding the Scope of the Family Violence Act

The Family Violence Act extends its protective arms around a wide range of individuals within the domestic sphere. It includes current and former spouses, children, stepchildren, stepparents, and foster parents. Additionally, any person living in the household, even if they are not related by blood or marriage, is eligible for protection under this statute. Those who do not qualify under these specific family ties may consider applying for a protective order under the Georgia stalking statute, which covers other scenarios.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Protective Order

To initiate the process for a family violence protective order, you should always contact and retain an attorney experienced in both family law and, ideally, criminal defense and/or prosecution. The process starts with filing a petition along with an ex parte protective order request. An ex parte proceeding is one where the petitioner goes before the judge without the other party attending and requesting immediate relief due to an imminent threat of violence or continued violence from the other party.  After submitting these documents to the court, a judge may issue an emergency protective order to provide immediate safety.

A court hearing will then be scheduled within 10 to 30 days, where both parties can present their evidence. If the judge decides in your favor, a temporary protective order may be granted, lasting up to 12 months.

Why Legal Representation is Vital

Handling a domestic violence case can become complex, especially when issues like child custody and support are involved. Although individuals are legally allowed to represent themselves, it is strongly recommended to seek the assistance of a skilled attorney who understands the nuances of domestic violence law.

Taking action against family violence is a bold step toward reclaiming safety and peace in your life. With the right legal guidance, you can navigate this challenging process with confidence.


We fight for you, and we don’t back down. Every criminal charge holds potentially life-altering consequences. We don’t hold back on providing our clients the best possible criminal defense available. Nearly all the attorneys at The Nelson Law Group are former Assistant District Attorneys, so our unique insight on how the prosecution approaches cases equips us with the ability to see the case from all sides. If you, a family member, or a close friend faces criminal charges, contact The Nelson Law Group today at 706-434-8770 or visit us at 7004 Evans Town Center Blvd., Third Floor, Evans, Georgia 30809 to discuss your unique case and our creative defense strategies with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.

DISCLAIMER: The content on this site is offered solely for informational purposes and might not represent the current law in your jurisdiction. None of the details provided here should be interpreted as legal advice from The Nelson Law Group or from the individual writer. Additionally, it is not meant to replace professional legal advice. Readers should not base their actions or decisions to abstain from actions solely on the information found in or available through this site. Instead, they should seek tailored legal or other expert counsel regarding their specific situation from an attorney or other professional authorized to practice in the reader’s state, nation, or other relevant licensing area.