Restraining Orders


If you are being harassed or living in fear that your partner or former partner is going to harm you or your children, you can seek assistance from the court by way of restraining order. A restraining order is a legal protection that can prohibit contact between you and your partner and set out various conditions by which your partner must abide.


Eligibility for a Restraining Order


A restraining order may be made against your spouse, former spouse, or a person you currently or have historically lived with.

The Court may issue a restraining order if you have reasonable grounds to fear for your safety or the safety of children in your custody. “Fear for your safety" encapsulates both an individual’s physical and psychological safety.

In addition, your fear does not have to be grounded on an action, gesture or words of harassment already acted upon or said by the Respondent. Rather, your fears of this occurring in the future must be legitimate.

If you do not meet the criteria for applying for a restraining order, then a peace bond in the criminal court may be available to you.

Restraining Order Protections


Your restraining order will either be temporary or final, meaning that it may expire within 1 year or the termination date will be set by the presiding judge. The order may include some of the following conditions:

  • The Respondent may not be allowed to visit you at work or at home or places you often frequent;
  • They may be prohibited from driving within a certain distance of your residence;
  • They may be prevented from contacting your children, parents or other family members
  • It may also outline conditions as to the methods by which contact may be permitted.

Restraining orders are serious. If the Respondent is in breach there will be criminal consequences, and they will likely appear in a criminal record search.

Benefits of a Restraining Order 


No one should ever be threatened, intimidated or injured by another individual-especially children. Knowing that there are legal consequences if the order is violated can provide you with a sense of comfort.

Obtaining a Restraining Order in Ontario 


If you or your family is in imminent danger, contact your local authorities and take the necessary steps to ensure your immediate safety.

Contact a family lawyer to begin the process of applying for a restraining order to provide for your safety as quickly as possible.

Once you have a restraining order, keep a copy with you at all times to provide to the police if necessary and develop a safety plan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

A threat may be deemed sufficient grounds for granting a restraining order, as the Court does not require a partner to have exhibited physical violence.
As a term of the restraining order, you can preclude your partner from attending at the children’s school. It is important to ensure that the appropriate school staff are made aware of your order and receive instructions not to allow your partner to pick up the children.
Yes, under the Family Law Act, a temporary or final restraining order can be made against a person with whom you have lived with for any length of time.
A safety plan is a personalized tool often used by individuals in abusive relationships to work to avoid dangerous situations with their partner and plan for the best way to react when faced with danger.

We can help you find a resolution that will help your family move on.

if you are going through family issues or a relationship breakdown in the Greater Toronto Area, contact the laywers at MacDonald & Partners LLP and come into our office, in downtown Toronto, Etobicoke, Oakville and North York.