AZ Divorce Lawyers Defend Clients Against Orders of Protection
Scottsdale divorce attorneys fight restraining orders
An order of protection is often a necessary shield against potential abuse. Unfortunately, during divorce proceedings, these orders sometimes can be used as swords to harm opposing parties. That is why, at Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. in Scottsdale, we are aggressive in defending clients against orders of protection in Arizona. We believe that everyone is entitled to due process and we understand the consequences that an unfair and unjustified order of protection can inflict on an innocent person. If you have been made the target of a restraining order, you can count on us to fight for your rights and your good name.
What restraining orders are used in an Arizona divorce?
There are five types of restraining orders issued by courts in Arizona:
- Order of protection
- Emergency order of protection
- Release order
- Injunction against harassment
- Injunction against workplace harassment
A party who feels threatened generally applies for an order of protection, which is designed to prevent domestic violence by imposing conditions on the other spouse’s conduct. If a couple lives in a rural county and one spouse has been arrested for domestic violence, it is common for a sheriff to issue a release order, which allows the spouse to be at liberty on conditions similar to an order of protection.
Criteria to obtain a protective order
To obtain an order of protection, a petitioner must pass the relationship test. This means that between the petitioner and the targeted person there exists one of these qualifying personal relationships:
- Being married presently or in the past
- Living now or previously in the same household
- Co-parenting a child (or expecting one)
- Being related by blood or marriage
- Involvement in a current or previous romantic or sexual relationship
The petitioner must present convincing evidence that acts of domestic violence have occurred or are likely to occur if the order is not granted.
Consequences of Arizona family protective order
The immediate consequences of a restraining order can be that the targeted person must:
- Vacate the home
- Refrain from contacting the petitioner
- Have no contact with their children
- Surrender firearms
- Stay away from places the petitioner might be found
In a divorce, a restraining order can bring a cloud of suspicion upon the targeted spouse that can negatively affect the proceedings, especially child custody matters.
Steps to fight orders of protection in Arizona
A petitioner can usually get an order of protection in an ex parte hearing. This means the judge only hears the petitioner’s side of the story. The petitioner then arranges for the order to be served on the targeted person. That is usually the moment the targeted person learns of the order. That person can then request a hearing by alleging that the petitioner misrepresented material facts. The hearing is held within 10 days, unless the order has forced the person to vacate the home, in which case it is scheduled within five days. This hearing allows the targeted person and their divorce lawyer to present evidence to rebut the petition and have the order canceled.
Can an order of protection or injunction against harassment be changed or modified?
If the court does not completely vacate the order, the targeted person might be able to have certain prohibitions removed. For example, if the court determines the person is not a threat to their children, it might be possible to arrange to see them. The court might ask the person to fulfill certain conditions to have the order lifted. As advocates for such individuals, we fight for their right to resume their normal lives without constraints.