Break-ups can be difficult, especially when domestic violence issues are involved. Abuse can even be present in intact relationships when an explosive outburst turns physical. While assault is a crime with severe penalties, the criminal process is often not enough to protect victims. Therefore, Colorado domestic violence laws provide for orders of protection as a type of cease and desist action.
If you are in a situation where you are experiencing domestic violence or other harassing behaviors from your ex, it may become necessary to obtain a civil protection order to protect yourself and your children. At the same time, the nature of the process means you could be the subject of baseless or false accusations, which you will want to aggressively defend.
Regardless of which side you occupy in a domestic violence matter, it is critical to work with skilled legal counsel to protect your rights and safety. Our protection order attorneys at Pomper Price, LLC in Denver have meticulous knowledge of the relevant laws, backed by decades of experience representing clients in these cases. These matters can be emotionally stressful and overwhelming, so allow our team to advocate on your behalf. Please contact our office to set up a consultation with one of our Colorado protection orders lawyers today. Some general information may also be useful.
Legal Proceedings for Colorado Protection Orders
The exact process for obtaining a domestic violence injunction varies based upon the circumstances. If there is a pending divorce case, you can seek protection through the divorce court; otherwise, you initiate a new, standalone case by filing the proper documents. Additional steps include:
- Obtaining a Temporary Order: To obtain a civil protection order, you must first apply for a temporary protection order with the court. You will need to supply basic information, including the reasons for seeking the order and details regarding incidents of domestic violence. Court rules allow you to appear before a judge the same day for an ex parte hearing, i.e., a proceeding that takes place without the alleged offender being in court. If the court finds that you are at imminent risk and an injunction is necessary to prevent violence, it will grant a temporary order that remains in place until a hearing can be held on whether a permanent injunction is appropriate – not longer than 14 days.
- Permanent Protective Orders: If the temporary civil protection order is granted, the court will then set you for a permanent protection order hearing to determine if the order will be made permanent. The accused individual will have notice of this hearing and can attend to defend the allegations, such as by providing additional testimony and evidence. If the petitioner can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the other committed acts of violence, the court may issue a permanent order of protection.
The standards for a temporary protection order versus a permanent protection order are different, so it’s helpful to have knowledgeable legal counsel to represent you through the process.
Special Considerations Regarding Injunctions
In addition to the general process for obtaining a protective order, there are a few points you should note:
Content of an Order of Protection: An injunction can cover a wide range of contact and communication that the respondent is prohibited from doing. For example, a Colorado protection order may:
- Prohibit the respondent from contacting the petitioner
- Require that the respondent not come within a certain distance of the victim’s workplace or school
- Exclude the person from the family home or other residence
- Direct that the restrained party continue to pay household bills and expenses.
Protective Orders and Children: A domestic violence injunction can also address the safety and well-being of children that the petitioner and respondent share. The language of the protection order can prohibit the respondent from contacting the petitioner or children they share, award sole custody of children, or terminate visiting time – while still requiring that person to pay child support.
Duration: A temporary protective order cannot extend beyond 14 days, because the nature of the underlying ex parte proceeding impinges on the respondent’s due process rights. However, once a permanent order is issued, it remains effective without a termination date. The injunction can only be changed or terminated if a party moves to modify, and the court enters a new order.
How Orders of Protection Affect Other Family Law Matters
As mentioned, all assaults are considered criminal in nature, so a domestic violence protective order may impact criminal charges against the accused. However, protective orders also affect other family law cases, particularly when injunctive relief is part of divorce proceedings. If you apply for the protection order through your divorce or child custody case as the protection order could have an impact on the court’s determinations regarding custody.
This is because the child’s best interests standard applies when the court makes decisions on child custody and visitation, now termed allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Key factors in the child’s best interests statute include whether the child was the victim of domestic violence or witnessed abuse against a parent.
Our lawyers at Pomper Price, LLC can advise you on the details, since a protective order can be structured to award temporary custody, terminate parental responsibilities, require supervised visitation, and other provisions. To discuss your protection order issue, schedule a free, one-hour consultation with one of our divorce attorneys today.
Trust Our Team to Assist with Protection Orders
Colorado domestic violence laws serve to protect victims and their children, but there is nothing automatic about the process. When you are suffering physically, emotionally, and financially, you need to put your case in the hands of our lawyers at Pomper Price, LLC. We will tackle such tasks as:
- Gathering evidence to support a protective order
- Preparing the Complaint for Civil Protection Order, which is a verified document that you attest to under oath
- Representing you at a hearing for a temporary order of protection
- Handling notice requirements to serve the ex parte order to the alleged offender
- Preparing for the hearing on a permanent civil protection order, noting different standards of proof that apply
- Fighting to protect you and your family during the injunction hearing
Our divorce attorneys also defend clients against protection orders that are baseless or unwarranted. Unfortunately, protection orders can be improperly used to gain a strategic advantage in divorce/custody cases. The proceedings affect your individual and parental rights, and may even have consequences for your job, living arrangements, and finances. As such, it is critical to defend the allegations when you have the opportunity at a permanent injunction hearing. Recall that the Complaint for Civil Protection Order is a sworn statement, so you might have evidence contradicting the accuser’s allegations.
In these cases, it is extremely important to have skilled and experienced counsel by your side to ensure that your case does not suffer as a result of the other side’s request for a protection order. If you wish to discuss your case further, please schedule a free, one-hour consultation today.
Reach Out to a Colorado Protection Orders Lawyer Right Away
When your safety, children, and rights are at risk in a domestic violence situation, you need experienced legal representation on your side. To learn how our protection orders attorneys at Pomper Price, LLC can assist with your case, please call 720-780-8288 or contact us here to schedule a free, one-hour consultation.
We can meet with you at our main offices in Denver, but our satellite offices serve clients from Fort Collins down to Colorado Springs. Plus, we can set up a virtual appointment to discuss the details of your case.