Here is a common situation: A wife and husband have been having marital problems for some time. Things escalate and one of the parties decides to file for divorce. In this case, let’s say the wife, takes the first steps towards divorce. In the process she meets with a divorce lawyer who suggests she files a protective order because the wife alleges the husband was abusive or at least threatened her with physical harm. Shortly thereafter, the husband receives a protective order only to learn he is court ordered to immediately refrain from contact with the wife, stay away from his home, etc. Now the husband has to find a place to live and figure out how to minimize the impact of all of this on the children. If you are the husband in this situation, there are 3 main things you should consider.
Consequences of a Protective Order
First, the consequences of a protective order can be severe. A protective order means you are court ordered to stay away from and/or refrain from certain types of contact with a spouse, family member, or someone you dated. When you are initially served with a protective order, there is a temporary protective order in place which you must abide by until the court hearing on the matter and a judge makes a final decision. If you violate the protective order you may be criminal charged. If a final protective order is entered against you, this may have a significant impact on a divorce in terms of child custody, etc. Additionally, having a protective order in place could mean you are ineligible for certain state licenses including concealed carry permits, hunting privileges, and more. Sometimes, a protective order can have a negative impact on a person’s career and may even mean you are ineligible to work in a certain profession. Because the potential penalties can be so severe, anyone served with a protective order should speak with an attorney before taking any other action which could impact their case.
Indirect Communication May be a Violation
Secondly, if you are charged with a protective order, do not try and communicate with anyone about the facts involved except your attorney. It goes without saying you can’t communicate with the petitioner of the action but you should also avoid talking about the case with third parties because doing so can get you in hot water. Frequently, people served with a protective order want to reach out to family and friends to pass messages along to their spouse or significant other. Communicating with the petitioner through a third party can be a violation of the protective order and can land you in jail. The safest bet is to not discuss the protective order with anyone and do not reach out to the other party in any way. Speak with a lawyer before you do anything.
You Will Get Your Day in Court
Finally, there will be a court hearing where you will get to provide your arguments in defense of your situation. However, do not go to this hearing alone. If you can afford to hire a lawyer, do so. An experienced attorney who is familiar with the process can determine what your defenses are and what the best way to proceed may be. Also, if you go to court on your own and give a statement that hurts you, that statement may be further used against you in a divorce or in a criminal case. Having an attorney can help prevent this from getting out of control.
Don’t panic; call the number listed above to speak with a protective order defense attorney at our firm now. We will discuss the facts of your matter and plan a strategy in your defense. Our office is available 24/7 so do not hesitate to call now.