Orders of Protection are court orders that aim to help prevent harassment, domestic abuse, and stalking. These court orders are fairly common in divorce and family law cases. However, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding these documents.
Filing for an Order of Protection
New York State allows litigants to file for an Order of Protection in Family Court, but only if you meet one of these requirements:
- You are related to the respondent by blood or marriage;
- You are, or were, legally married to the respondent;
- You have a child with the respondent; or
- You are, or were, in an intimate relationship with the respondent.
If you meet one of the Court’s criteria, you may file a Family Offense Petition in your county’s Family Court. You will then be issued a Temporary Order of Protection once your petition is approved.
Types of Orders of Protection
Orders of Protection can be both temporary and permanent. According to the 5th Judicial District your Order might include:
- Stay away: bars the respondent from showing up at your home, office, child’s school, etc. A stay away can also prevent someone from contacting your family members.
- Refrain from: the respondent must stop a doing a certain action, such as threatening you.
- Exclusion: bans the respondent from entering the home they share with you. Exclusions are only granted when the respondent poses a clear and present danger to you or your children.
- Collect Belongings: requires law enforcement to be present when the respondent removes their personal items from your home.
- Firearms: the respondent will not be allowed to carry or use a weapon. The court will confiscate all firearms from your ex.
Enforcing Orders of Protection
Unfortunately, not all Orders of Protection are followed. There is always a chance that your ex will disobey the terms listed in your Order. Because of this, it is important to keep a copy of your Order of Protection at home and at work. You should even consider giving a copy to your child’s school. Keep it handy so you can show law enforcement that your Order exists.
Violating an Order of Protection is a very serious offense, and can result in jail time for the offender. If your ex is violating your protection order, you need to take immediate and swift action. The first step to safeguarding your family is to hire a lawyer who experience with Orders of Protection. Keep in mind that you will need to file an Enforcement Petition and appear in court, but having a lawyer fight for your safety can make the process easier.
The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. has helped thousands of New Yorkers protect their families with Orders of Protection. For more information on divorce and family law, or to schedule your free consultation, contact Brian and his team at 718-875-7584 today!