Order of Protection Lawyers in Clarksville Helping You Stay Safe
Relationships are supposed to be built on love and trust, but when a partner takes advantage of that and hurts you, you may need to take action to protect yourself. An order of protection is one way you can force someone legally to stay away from you to help ensure your safety, but there are a lot of misunderstandings about protection orders. It’s important to talk to an attorney before attempting to get a protection order to ensure you understand what’s involved and what it means for the future.
If you think you may need an order of protection to keep yourself or your children safe, talk to one of our attorneys today. We can help you understand what’s required to get an order of protection and what happens after you file for one.
What Is an Order of Protection?
An order of protection is similar to a restraining order. While restraining orders are primarily used for people who have not been in a romantic relationship with each other, orders of protection are the family law equivalent. An order of protection can help you force an abusive partner to leave the shared residence or get a third party to do custody exchanges so you don’t have to interact with the other parent.
What Do I Need to Get an Order of Protection?
In order to get an order for protection, you have to show the courts that you are a victim of domestic abuse, stalking or sexual assault. If you are seeking an order of protection, the first step is to speak with an attorney who has experience helping clients successfully obtain orders of protection. Abusers are very good at hiding their behavior, and it can be difficult to have enough evidence to get the courts to grant the order of protection. In general, you need to be able to show that a specific crime occurred — such as in the case of domestic abuse or sexual assault — or that there is a sustained pattern of behavior if you are getting an order of protection against someone who is stalking you. Texts, calls, video evidence, and police reports can all play a role in getting an order of protection.
How Long Does an Order of Protection Last?
In Tennessee, you first apply for a temporary protection order, called a TPO. The purpose of this order is to address any immediate threats and protect the victim’s immediate safety. A temporary order of protection is in place for 15 days. If you are able to get a hearing before the 15 days is up, the temporary order of protection is valid until the hearing date, pending the outcome of that hearing. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to award an extended protection order, which is called an EPO. An extended order of protection can last as long as 1 year. However, it is possible to have the EPO extended even further through another yearning when the original EPO is set to expire.
How Does an Order of Protection Impact My Custody Case?
If the order of protection is only granted against one parent, it does not have any immediate effect on child custody arrangements. The other parent may still continue to have access and visitation with the children. However, a third person is usually needed to facilitate custody exchanges to ensure the order of protection isn’t violated. It is possible to be granted an order of protection that covers the children as well if they are deemed, victims. In these situations, it can mean that the custody agreement also needs to be adjusted to allow for supervised visitation or another workaround. If you have questions about how an order of protection might impact an ongoing custody case, talk to a family law attorney.
An order of protection is one way the courts try to protect those who are being abused or harassed, and it can be a valuable tool in many cases. Call the law offices of Hibbeler & Associates at 931-236-2711 to schedule a free consultation where you can find out more about getting an order of protection.