Divorce, Civil Union Dissolution, and Relief From Abuse
This section deals with special issues that arise when there is a relief from abuse case at the same time as a divorce or dissolution case. You can find more information about relief from abuse cases here.
If you have already received a relief from abuse (RFA) order and you or your spouse file a divorce or dissolution action, you must tell the court. You will need to state this on the cover sheet and in your complaint for divorce, dissolution, or separation. If the two cases are from different counties, there are rules about which family court will keep the cases.
The court, on its own, combines your abuse case with your divorce case. This means that any order in your relief from abuse case will apply in your divorce case.
You or your spouse can file a complaint for relief from abuse even if your divorce case is not final.
If you or your spouse requests emergency relief, the court will act on it. A hearing will be scheduled within 10 court days, if the request for emergency relief is granted.
A final RFA order replaces conflicting terms of the final divorce order. You and your spouse must follow the most recent RFA order.
If your RFA order is set to expire while the divorce is still pending, you can ask the court to extend it. Your request to extend the order needs to be filed in writing.
You should explain why you believe an extension is necessary. You don't have to show that any new abuse has occurred, or that there has been any change in circumstances. The court will grant the order if it finds that the order is necessary to protect you, your children, or both, from abuse.