This is the first post in a series in which I will discuss information related to obtaining a temporary protective order (TPO) for the purpose of protecting oneself from domestic violence. I am writing this series because domestic violence issues frequently occur in contentious divorce and child custody situations. As a family law attorney, I have seen individuals who are the victim of violence as a result of their legal disagreement. I have also seen individuals who have been falsely accused of domestic violence due to their current legal situation. In this series, I will be discussing information that is related to questions I am frequently asked by clients.
Both victims and the accused frequently have questions when a TPO is issued
Throughout this series, I will be discussing a number of topics. Topics that I will include are:
- How to file for a TPO
- How a TPO will affect your child custody or divorce case
- When a TPO should name the children
- What happens at a TPO hearing
- How to defend yourself from a TPO
- How to proceed once a TPO is filed
TPOs are filed during divorce and child custody cases for a number of reasons. All too often, there has been domestic violence occurring in a family for years, and the victim has finally found the strength to leave the abuser. In these cases, the victim requires protection from the abuser, and is in the most danger while the divorce or child custody case is proceeding. However, in other cases, one member of a former couple wishes to abuse the legal system by filing a false TPO in order to attempt to gain leverage in their family law case. Unfortunately, false TPOs are filed with frequency as well. A Judge will be assigned to listen to both sides of an argument, and will determine the truth. In the meantime, many couples must figure out how to co-parent or proceed with their legal case while an emergency TPO is in tact.
Alert your family lawyer immediately if you file or have a TPO filed against you
If you file a TPO, or have a TPO filed against you, it is crucial that you inform your family law attorney of this fact immediately. When domestic violence is involved, it will absolutely affect the outcome of a child custody case. Your attorney must have all of the facts of the domestic violence claims, whether they are made by you, or against you. If you believe you are in danger, your attorney may also assist you in filing for a TPO. If you are a victim of domestic violence, or have had a TPO wrongly filed against you, contact a family law attorney today for assistance.