It happens all the time. Divorce cases devolve into more than the equitable division of marital property and child custody arrangements, which are complicated enough on their own. One spouse retreats from a heated argument to return with police in tow. She serves a protective order that requires the other spouse to vacate the marital home. He retaliates with a protective order that prohibits her from visiting, calling, emailing, or texting him.
Intended to protect household members against real threats, protective orders have become a routine cudgel for some people involved in contentious divorces. Failure to defend against a request for a protective order can have an immediate effect on a father’s ability to parent his child, and a potentially lasting effect on his ability to keep a job, his reputation, and even his right to go hunting.
Frivolous requests for protective orders are troublesome enough for the person named in the order. They also diminish public confidence that a protective order identifies a real threat. I believe frivolous protective orders should be aggressively challenged. Yet, when a man has a real need to obtain a protective order, he usually needs it soon and needs it enforced to avoid getting dragged into situations where he could be construed as the one causing trouble.
Frivolous or Urgent?
If you are going through a divorce and find yourself facing or in need of a protective order, your best legal ally could be a Tulsa protective order lawyer for men. If you are named in an emergency protective order, I know how urgent it is that you first comply with the order, and second, challenge the order before it becomes permanent. I can tell you when an order for protection would be in your best interests and when to fight the urge to retaliate with a protective order against her.
When you need protection from a soon-to-be ex or she claims to need protection from you, you are well advised to proceed with extreme caution. Courts typically combine protective order hearings into a related divorce process. That can delay a hearing to rescind a temporary order for months. Or, the outcome of legal proceedings regarding protective orders can have a significant impact on the way that your divorce is ultimately resolved.
What is an Oklahoma Protective Order?
Oklahoma protective orders are governed by the state’s Protection from Abuse Act. Courts issue protective orders with the intention of protecting victims from domestic abuse, harassment, or stalking by banning the accused from contacting the accuser. Once issued, the accused may not contact the accuser until the protective orders have been lifted. It is important that anyone subject to a protective order abides by its terms. Failing to do so could result in civil judgments, and criminal penalties and even have an impact on child custody arrangements in the future.
Although Oklahoma law prohibits protective orders from being used to determine the primary divorce issues of parental rights and the division of marital property, in practice, a protective order can temporarily do just that.
By way of example, a protective order may temporarily prohibit a parent from seeing their children and may require a father to leave his home. Further, being the mere subject of such an order can negatively affect a person’s job, professional licensure, firearm rights, and reputation.
Finally, child custody law in Oklahoma mandates that if one spouse can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the other spouse perpetrated domestic abuse, harassing behavior, or stalking, the legal presumption is that the parent that stands so accused should have neither custody of nor unsupervised visitation with any minor children. Evidence developed and not refuted in protective order hearings can become evidence in custody hearings.
Protective Order Defense
Temporary emergency orders for protection are notoriously easy to obtain. Whether by purely false allegation or by misguided embellishment, a person has no opportunity to defend themself against an initial emergency order.
Once the order is issued, the clock starts ticking until the order can be made permanent. Before that happens, the accused has a chance to challenge the allegations in court. While many protective orders are necessary, others are frivolous abuses of the court system.
It is imperative that a person accused in an emergency protective order put on a robust defense. A father’s right to naturally interact with his children is far too important not to take action when hit with a frivolous order of protection.
Defending against a protective order can require sensitivity to circumstances If a spouse is unable to sufficiently prove the allegations brought in the protective order, the court cannot issue a final order of protection.
Divorce is almost always fraught with crushing stress and anxiety. It is common for a spouse burdened by such weighty emotions to feel harassed, abused, or stalked – even if the accused party perpetrated no such actions. In other words, it is complicated, the other party is quite possibly confused and frustrated. Trying to de-escalate by ignoring a bogus protective order can cost you dearly in the long run.
Protective Order Expungement
If you have a protective order on your record, it can have myriad negative effects on your reputation, your career goals, your hunting rights, and more. Further, such a record is not only embarrassing but is also widely accessible. When the protective order was based on frivolous charges in the first place, it makes things that much more difficult. Expungement of such a record is the equivalent of sealing the records and so you can lawfully deny their existence outright. Once your record is expunged, it will no longer be available to the public. In fact, it will no longer be available without a court order.
Finally, the case associated with the protective order and any precipitating incident will be removed from the record. Ultimately, if you are asked about your legal history – such as during a job interview – you may accurately respond that no such action ever took place. Obtaining expungement for a protective order is nearly always in your best interests.
Talk to a Tulsa Men’s Protective Order Attorney
If you are going through a divorce, chances are that emotions are running high. It can be difficult to predict what might come next. When a protective order is in play, you need experienced legal counsel.
Protective orders – even if borne of nothing – can have considerable negative consequences, including negatively affecting your ability to spend time with your children, your career goals, and your reputation.
If you are looking at a protective order, retain a reputable Tulsa protective order attorney for men. You and your children’s futures are far too important to leave to chance. To set up a prompt, confidential consultation, contact a Tulsa father’s rights attorney at (918) 986-7724 today.