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Asking for Visitation in a 209A Restraining Order Case

Produced by Attorney Jeff Wolf for MassLegalHelp
Created March 2017

In a 209A case:

  • Only the Plaintiff can ask for a visitation order.
  • Only the Probate and Family Court can order visitation.

Here is a situation where:

  • domestic violence and alcohol abuse are involved, and
  • the survivor wants the abusive parent to visit with their son, but
  • she needs the court to make visitation safe.

Lisa Smith is married to Frank Smith. They have a 6 year old named Joe.

Yesterday, Frank punched Lisa in the face and took the keys to her car. He was getting more and more violent and recently had his driver’s license taken away for “driving under the influence.”

Lisa needs a 209A restraining order.

She wants the court to order Visitation for Frank and Joe. She needs Frank’s Visitation to be supervised, but she does not need to use a supervised visitation center. To be safe, she needs to make sure Frank does not pick Joe up or drop him off for the visits. It is not safe if Frank comes anywhere near her, and she does not want Joe in a car with Frank.But she trusts Frank’s mother and his brother.

Lisa can ask the court to order safe Visitation in her 209A Complaint. Lisa would fill out the Complaint for Protection from Abuse. She would check box 7 in Section J on page 1 and fill in Section E on page 2. When Lisa files her complaint, she must also file an Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceeding. This affidavit form tells the court if there are already any court orders about your child. It also tells the court if any judge is making decisions about your child now.

If you need to ask for Visitation in a 209A restraining order case,


and file:


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