Protective orders impact child custody rights in many ways. If you are ever in a situation where you are accused of violence, harassment or abuse towards your children or their other parent, you could be issued a Protective Order. The protective order could also come with potential criminal charges. This order might affect your ability to see your children and might eventually lead you to lose custody of them. Many people have no idea that a protective ordered issued against you will have an adverse impact on future child custody orders.
Oklahoma Law On Protective Orders Affecting Parents
A Protective Order is issued by an Oklahoma court to protect a parent and their children from violence, abuse or harassment by the other parent. Notably, it is not a punishment to the parent who is alleged to be the abuser. Rather, its a warning that if the parent violates the order they could be arrested and charged with an offense. If you are served a Protective Order, then you will be required to comply with the following;
- You must stay away from the alleged victim
- You must not abuse the alleged victim (e.g. harming or threatening to harm your children or their other parent; failing to protect your children’s health, safety or welfare)
- Must stay away from the alleged victim’s work and if you live together you must leave the home.
- You must refrain from contacting the alleged victim, which means that you cannot send messages, letters or phone calls to them
- You are also required to surrender any weapons including guns in your possession
How Does Someone Get A Protective Order?
A Protective Order is not just available to those people who currently live or previously live in your household. They are also available for those people who you are related to by marriage or blood, and to those people who you dated or engaged in a sexual relationship with.
Generally, a person who is eligible for a Protective Order files a Petition for Order of Protection with the District Court where you live or where an instance of domestic abuse occurred. In cases of emergency, a person could file a Petition for Emergency Order of Protection. Notably, a Protective Order could be set in place for up to five years.
The court will typically issue a Protective Order based upon allegations of domestic violence or abuse by a family or household member. This includes an intimate partner or someone who commits violence such as threats, rape, assault, battery, stalking or kidnapping. After the judge reviews the Petition, they hear the testimony and evidence of the accuser. You will also testify before the Judge who is making a determination.
If the court issues a Protective Order against you without your knowledge, then your accuser will have to make an appearance for a Hearing to Show Cause within 10 days of the Order being issued. You will have an opportunity to contest this Order – but be prepared for your accuser to explain why the Order should be issued.
A Protective Order Might Be The Precursor To A Custody Battle
A Protective Order does not decide issues of custody but it might restrain you from seeing your children. To that extent, it can interfere with your rights. Notably, a Protective Order could serve as a basis for you to subsequently lose custody of your children. So, a custody battle may come on the heels of a Protective Order. Relatedly, if the court orders you to comply with a Protective Order, and you violate that Order, then you could be arrested and placed in jail. If you are placed in jail, then this could serve as a basis for you to lose custody of your children.
Protective Orders Impact Future Custody Cases
The important thing to understand is that a protective order issued in one case can impact other cases too. An example of this is when a person gets a protective order against you and you have children from another relationship. The other parent can now use the protective order in their own case with you as a basis for modification. Because a domestic violence creates a presumption that joint custody is not in the best interest of the child the door is open to modify custody in a separate unrelated case. Also, a finding of domestic abuse opens up the the person its granted against to paying all the attorney fees.
Should I Hire A Tulsa Protective Order Attorney?
Protective Orders and child custody proceedings are often complex and adversarial. Not only that, but emotions often run high during these times. The last thing that you want is to have an outburst in court that can negatively affect the outcome of your case. Our Tulsa protective order attorneys are trained to not let these emotions stand in the way of defending your rights. Most importantly, hiring a family law attorney can give you the peace of mind in knowing that you have someone on your side who knows the law. For a free consultation, reach out to Kania Law Office by calling (918) 743-2233 or by contacting us online.