Just because you are planning on divorcing your spouse do not plan on forcing them out of their house, or obtaining custody of the children, by obtaining a restraining order. Restraining orders (also known as an abuse prevention order or a “209A,” which is the statute that govern this law) were created for people who are in imminent fear of bodily harm from another individual. It is in place to protect people and not to be used as a weapon.
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 209A, the person seeking a restraining order must have a blood relationship, or was or is in a dating relationship with the party they are seeking protection from. They must draft a sworn statement stating specific facts as to what happened and as a result why they are seeking the order of protection. They then must present the sworn statement and any additional facts to the Court in order of the Court to determine if the abuse prevention order is warranted or not.
If the court finds enough evidence to support your request than the other party must be served with the restraining order and a date for them to appear in court will be issued. Certain people could ultimately lose their employment if a restraining order is issued. Anyone who has a restraining order issued against them must immediately surrender any and all firearms and weapons to the police. Even if the restraining order is dismissed after a hearing the police can still retain those firearms and weapons and may ultimately revoke your license to carry or an FID (for pepper spray or hunting) cards.
Depending on what the restraining order states, anyone who has a restraining order issued against them must usually vacate their home and be precluded from seeing their children for a period of time. The restraining order will have a date to return (usually 10 days) to the court allowing both parties to present their respective positions.
The goal of seeking and issuing a protective order should be when you are in imminent fear of the other party and not a tool to gain an advantage or ruin someone’s career.