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Colorado trial attorneys

Faulty protective orders lead to wrongful restraint in divorce

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP August 27, 2020

A false domestic violence accusation can change your life as you know it. And the protection order that might follow could be devastating, so refuting those allegations may be the most important step in your divorce.

Domestic violence is a serious concern, and around 30% of Coloradans experience it in some form. But false accusations do occur when divorce is on the horizon, stemming from issues ranging from a lack of understanding to personal gain. It is important to avoid entry of a permanent protection order whenever possible.  Entry of such an order can affect the order entered in your divorce.

Dangerous implications

Once a permanent protection order is in place, you might not be able to have it modified or dismissed for years. In the meantime, the damage may already be done:

  • Custody: Protection orders could be entered preventing you from exercising parenting time with your children.  Additionally, if a protection order is entered protecting your co-parent, the court can consider the factors leading to the entry of the protection order when making custody and decision-making orders.
  • Support: Even if an order has already removed you from your home, the courts may still require you to pay the expenses associated with the home while the case is on-going. This means you could be responsible for your family’s living expenses on top of the costs you’re incurring from living at a second location.
  • Division: A successful protection order may persuade the court that more of your share of assets should go to your spouse. A judge might decide that you share responsibility for financial burdens that arose from the allegations, including things like medical bills, therapy or decreased income or employability.

Hearing hopes

Before a permanent protection order is entered, the court will hold a hearing.  There are options for settling this matter without a hearing, which can be discussed with an attorney.  If you do proceed to hearing, it is important you know your rights an obligations during the hearing and present a strong case, pursuant to the statutory standard, demonstrating why a permanent protection order should not be entered.

Understanding the consequences of a permanent protection order is essential if you find yourself in this situation. Make sure you’re prepared for this often-serious challenge, so you’re not facing ramifications for years to come.