Utah Dating Violence Protection Act

Protective Orders Against Boyfriends and Girlfriends

Protective orders in Utah have historically been limited to spouses and cohabitants (people living together) or former spouses and former cohabitants.  Courts hand out protective orders like candy as it is and the Utah Legislature has just made it even easier to get a protective order and has all but guaranteed that Courts will be issuing even more protective orders.

Tomorrow the Utah Dating Violence Protection Act goes into effect and allows boyfriends and girlfriends to bring a request for protective order against each other.  It specifically provides that a protective order may be sought by a person who is substantially likely to be subjected to “abuse by a dating partner of the person or dating violence by a dating partner of the person.”  A “dating partner” is someone who is at least 18 years old and has been in a dating relationship with the person.  A “dating relationship” “does not mean a casual fraternization in a business, educational, or social context.”  In order to determine whether someone is a in a dating relationship the court will consider all relevant factors including the following:

  • whether the parties developed interpersonal bonding above a mere casual fraternization;
  • the length of the parties’ relationship;
  • the nature and the frequency of the parties’ interactions, including communications indicating that the parties intended to begin a dating relationship;
  • the ongoing expectations of the parties, individual or jointly, with respect to therelationship;
  • whether, by statement or conduct, the parties demonstrated an affirmation of their relationship to others; and
  • whether other reasons exist that support or detract from a finding that a dating relationship exists; and

If the petitioner shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent committed abuse or dating violence against the petitioner then the court will issue a protective order which will last for 180 days.

If you are facing a Utah dating violence protective order or seek to bring one against your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance give our lawyers a call at 801.413.1753 for a free over the phone consultation.

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