Terrence Howard has agreed to stay away from his ex-wife Michelle Ghent for the next three years after a restraining order against the actor was made permanent.

The Iron Man star has been locked in a nasty legal battle with Ghent since their split in 2011, and their latest court fight centres around allegations Howard attacked his ex after reuniting with her for a family holiday in Costa Rica this summer (13).

The actor hit back at the claims and insisted he was the real victim in the altercation, accusing Ghent of using mace on him, his adult daughter and another relative.

They both applied for restraining orders against one another following the incident, but a U.S. judge only approved Ghent's request for protection - and the actor was temporarily banned from contacting her in August (13).

The restraining order was made permanent on Wednesday (18Sep13), when Howard agreed to abide by the ruling and cover his ex-wife's $14,800 (£9,867) legal fees, according to Tmz.com.