Fort Collins Family Law Civil Protective Order Attorney

In the emotional upheaval that so often occurs in the process of a separation or divorce, it is not uncommon for one partner or both to take certain actions or exhibit behaviors that are detrimental to the other. Sometimes a spouse who is being sued for divorce will refuse to leave the home, creating an uncomfortable situation for all concerned; or perhaps one partner will run to empty out a joint bank account, sell off marital assets, or transfer funds to keep them out of the hands of the other spouse. And sometimes, emotions run so high that violence erupts or is threatened. Or one partner will stalk the other, perhaps looking for evidence of infidelity. In any of these cases, there are legal actions you can take to safeguard your assets and your person. If you are involved in a family law legal matter, such as a divorce, separation, or child custody battle, and you are afraid your ex is planning to do something to harm you in any way, discuss the matter with your lawyer, who will advise you about your legal options.

The Protective Order Hearing

You can request a Temporary Protective Order, or restraining order, from the court without notice to the other party. If granted by the judge, it goes into effect immediately, and a hearing date is set when the other party can appear, usually within two weeks. You will each have the opportunity to present evidence and testify. Whether you are the party seeking the order or the one against whom it is directed, you should provide any available evidence, including photographs, medical reports, and witnesses.

Unlike the burden of proof in a criminal case, you will need to show your need for protection by “a preponderance of the evidence,” in a civil protective order, a lower standard meaning the behavior from which you require protection was more likely to have occurred than not.

At this point, the order may be rescinded or made permanent. If the restrained party fails to show up, it will automatically become permanent.

Having Skilled Legal Representation Can Keep You Safe

If you are the person requesting protection, you will want to be represented in court by a knowledgeable and experienced family practice attorney, to assist you in making a strong case and persuading the judge to order the protection you need to remain safe.

Your Lawyer Can Protect You against False Allegations

Sometimes in a heated and highly contentious divorce or custody fight, one party will attempt to hurt or get revenge on the other by requesting a protective order based on false allegations, sometime even alleging criminal acts. A civil protective order won’t send you to jail unless you violate it, but some plaintiffs pursue protective orders in both civil and criminal court simultaneously. Furthermore, you can easily lose meaningful parenting time with your children, which usually means that you will need to pay someone designated by the court to oversee any interactions with your children. The judge may order you to surrender any firearms you own. You may also be thrown out of your own home. Not only can this damage your reputation in the community, but your relationship with your children may be irretrievably damaged. So having quality legal counsel is strongly recommended.

It may be possible there was wrongdoing on both sides, or that the wrongdoing was done by the plaintiff and not you. In these cases, your lawyer may recommend filing a cross-complaint.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Situations where protective orders come into play are emotional and very stressful. Having the right lawyer can protect those who truly need protection as well as protecting partners who have been wrongly accused. In either case, having a lawyer you can trust advocating for you is extremely important—and even more so when children are involved.

Get the experienced, personalized, and aggressive legal advocacy you need in the Ft. Collins, Colorado, area by calling the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC at 970.900.1800. Stephen is a committed and results-oriented attorney who will fight for your interests with skill, energy, and compassion in sensitive family law matters.