Orders of protection are valuable tools to protect victims. Those who have suffered domestic abuse need to have a way to protect themselves to make sure that they are not victims again, and this is what an order of protection does. However, while ex-spouses may occasional require an order of protection due to flared emotions and violent outbursts, how does that affect other aspects of divorce?
Divorces happen for a lot of emotionally complex reasons, and they are also a difficult process to go through for many people. However, while things often get heated between the parents, often children are innocent in the matter. While one spouse may have acted violently towards the other, enough so that an order of protection is filed against them, but where does that leave their children when it comes to parenting time and visitation rights?
This is often a confusing area, since you cannot just leave children unattended somewhere. Often a parent with an order of protection against the other parent will have to come closer than the order allows to exchange children. So when parents have an order of protection in place, how does visitation work?
Visitation with Protection Orders
In divorce, if things are getting heated, often temporary protection orders will be put in place. During this time, the courts may not make exceptions for visitation time. This means you might not be able to see your children for this time, but temporary protection orders are just that, temporary. This means that the order may eventually lapse, and you can resume visits.
However, if it is deemed that a more permanent protection order is needed, you will have to address visitation with the courts. A judge will set a visitation schedule up, and if a permanent protection order is put in place after the visitation is set, the parents will need to return to court. Do not, under any circumstances, ignore the protection order and seek visitation time anyway. An order of protection will always trump your parental rights.
When returning to court to seek visitation despite an order of protection, the process is fairly simple. If it is deemed that you are not a threat to your children, the judge will amend the visitation schedule. This may mean supervised visits, and most often it will dictate that exchanges in custody of the children will have to happen at a set place. For example, instead of picking your children up at their mother’s home, you may have to meet her at her place of work or some other public place in order to take your children for your scheduled parenting time. While coming in close proximity may violate that order of protection, a public place assures a certain amount of safety. If the meeting place and date are set by the court, it is not a violation. However, if you were to meet any other place than the scheduled area for custody exchanges on the scheduled days, you will still be in violation. Violating the order will result in arrest and potential punishment.
Child custody and divorce are both complex situations, but having an order of protection in place just makes things more complicated. However, they are there to protect people and can be somewhat flexible if you cease to be a threat in the eyes of the law. If you need an order of protection or seek to know more of your rights with an order of protection against you, contact us today. Let the lawyers at Beckman Steen & Lungstrom work for you in order to get the best results possible for your case.