Let Sauer & Petterson Family Law help you and your children stay safe.
Unfortunately, in situations involving familial relationships, events may transpire that make you fearful for your immediate safety. Sometimes they are a result of a heated debate which escalated to one person making threatening comments, or at other times, can be the result of a person physically harming another person.
There are numerous situations which may warrant seeking immediate protection from the court. The court has the authority to grant a temporary protection order (restraining order) for the following reasons:
- to prevent assaults and threatened bodily harm;
- to prevent domestic abuse;
- to prevent emotional abuse of the elderly or an at-risk adult;
- to prevent sexual assault or abuse; and
- to prevent stalking.
To protect the person who is subjected to the immediate threat or harm, the court will hear a request for a temporary protection order “ex parte,” which means they hear your side of the story first without taking testimony from the person accused. If, based on your written motion and testimony, the court believes that the threat of harm, abuse or stalking is legitimate, it will issue a “temporary protection order.” Typically, these only last a few weeks and more importantly, are only valid to restrain the accused from being near you, your residence, or other place after the accused has been personally served with the temporary protection order. This requires involving a police officer or private process server to achieve personal service upon the accused.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to request that the temporary protection be made permanent. When the court issues the temporary protection order, the court will automatically schedule a date to hear whether the temporary protection order should be made permanent.
In cases involving parties to a divorce, the parties have the option of agreeing to make the temporary protection order last until the divorce case is finalized. Depending on the nature of the threat and potential harm, the option may be beneficial, especially if the parties have minor children.
If the person who obtained a temporary protection order resides with the person who is restrained, they are permitted to return to the residence for the purposes of obtaining a reasonable amount of possessions if accompanied by a peace officer.
While the type of threats and harm discussed above should certainly be taken seriously, there are unintended, and sometimes unwanted, ramifications of obtaining a temporary or permanent protection order. This is especially true when the person who is protected and the person who is restrained share children together. Often times, a protection order results in restricted or limited communication, which can be difficult if you have to discuss the needs of young children or financial matters
It is not uncommon for a protection order to become necessary at the same time a relationship is ending. Often times, a person who files for divorce may need to seek a temporary protection order and have both documents served upon his or her spouse at the same time. This situation may arise if there is a history of domestic violence or abuse, whether it was reported to the police or not, or history of threats made in anticipation of a divorce.
Because there are so many factors to consider and be prepared to confront, it is imperative that you seek counsel from a Denver divorce attorney or Denver family law attorney to guide you through the process.
The experienced attorneys of Sauer & Petterson Family Law are available and willing to help you with your situation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.