DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE
Missouri law basically defines "abuse" to include physical assault, harassment, or stalking against a present or former family or household member, as well as attempts or threats against another person. The main legal weapon against such abuse is the order of protection, through which a court may restrain an abuser from further abuse or threats. The order of protection can require the alleged abuser to move out of the house shared with the victim and restrain the abuser from having any contact with the person seeking the order. An order of protection may also make child custody decisions where appropriate.
An ex parte order can be sought and issued without a hearing or notice to the alleged abuser in order to provide immediate protection to the victim of abuse. A full order of protection can only be issued after a hearing in court or by consent of both parties. The alleged abuser must ultimately be notified of the proceedings and have an opportunity to appear at the hearing and challenge the order. Our firm handles cases prosecuting and defending allegations of both adult abuse and child abuse in ex parte matters and hearings on full orders of protection.