It is not uncommon for a party in a custody battle to obtain an Order of Protection against another party to include the minor children as protected persons. Sometimes there are legitimate concerns and allegations to support the Petition for Order of Protection. However, sometimes allegations are made in an attempt to get a one up in litigation regarding issues of legal decision making and parenting time.
Often times, the party served with the Order of Protection has an immediate response to the allegations that resulted in the Court issuing an Order of Protection. “These are lies! There is no justice! The system is unfair! I want my day in Court so I can tell the judge!” Ok, you can request a hearing at anytime during the 1 year effective period, but beware.
Here is the problem. Due to recent changes in the law, if the Commissioner presiding over the Order of Protection hearing upholds the Order of Protection, the Judge presiding over the family court case can no longer modify the Order of Protection at a subsequent custody hearing. If the children are listed as protected persons, the Judge cannot issue any orders that change that fact. Bottom line is, if the Order of Protection prohibits contact with your children after a hearing, it’s a done deal for the year. The only way to protect against this involves a more complicated legal strategy that must be considered PRIOR to requesting a hearing on the Order of Protection.
At LASITER & JACKSON, PLLC, we strongly advise that you seek legal advice prior to requesting a hearing on the Order of Protection. If you do not, you could severely prejudice any anticipated or pending family court case. Both Nicole P. Lasiter, Esq. and Stephanie L. Jackson, Esq. are extremely experienced with the changes in the law regarding protective orders and the potential consequences on your child custody case. Feel free to contact us at (602)234-5900.