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Protecting Your Rights: Understanding The Benefits Of A Divorce Restraining Order

Divorce presents a major life change under any circumstances. The divorce process can be even more challenging when a couple has a history of domestic violence or emotional abuse. A spouse seeking to leave a potentially dangerous situation may wish to take legal action to ensure their safety and peace of mind by filing a request with the court for a protection order, also known as a restraining order, even before the divorce is finalized. These protection orders can have a significant impact on divorce proceedings. Understanding the advantages of these protection orders as well as the potential complications that may arise can help divorcing partners to make informed decisions throughout the process. If you are considering asking the court to grant a divorce restraining order, consider contacting the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442 today and scheduling an appointment to let our experienced Colorado family law attorneys help you understand how a restraining order may impact your divorce.

What Exactly Is a Restraining Order in Colorado?

Colorado does not technically have a restraining order. Instead, Colorado courts may issue protection orders. Many people still refer to these as restraining orders or will call them no-contact orders, stay-away orders, or orders of protection.

Regardless of the name of these orders, their purpose remains the same. The court issued orders of this type to prohibit contact between two people in order to stop additional harm from occurring. These orders are often awarded when there is domestic abuse involved, such as when an (ex) partner or (ex) spouse commits or makes promises to commit an act of violence. However, they are also issued for a variety of other reasons. According to the Equal Justice Foundation, these protective orders are issued to try to prevent the following:

  • Sexual contact that is not lawful
  • Sexual assault
  • Threats or other dangerous situations
  • Stalking
  • A physical assault

The Conditions of a Restraining Order

Although each protective order is different and unique to the case, some of the more common conditions that these protective orders provide include the following:

  • Avoid any type of contact with the party that has requested the restraining order, including communicating with them by phone, email, text, or social media
  • Temporarily surrendering custody of the children to the party requesting the restraining order, or to other members of the family.
  • Avoiding certain locations, such as the requesting party’s vehicle, workplace, home, children’s schools, and other sites
  • Not transferring or trying to sell specific assets

To better understand these restraining orders and their conditions, consider reaching out to a skilled family law lawyer at Colorado Divorce Law Group. Our experienced legal team can explain further what divorce restraining orders entail, how to obtain one, and what court-issued protection orders can mean for you going forward.

What Are the Benefits of a Restraining Order?

While the immediate purpose of a restraining order is typically to promote safety, reduce emotional and physical abuse and intimidation, and prevent serious harm or death, there are also several other benefits that a restraining order can provide. For instance, these Colorado protective orders can:

  • Stop people from harming a separated partner or threatening them or their child
  • Stop a person from entering a former partner’s home or that of another
  • Award control and care of children for a specific period of time
  • Prohibit contact with the separated or their children
  • Protect a divorcing partner against interference at a school or workplace
  • Protect pets and other animals

A protective order can also protect an individual from financial retaliation by the other party. In cases where this protection is desirable, the concerned partner would need to request that the court enter a temporary injunction. This injunction can order the restrained party to continue to pay for certain expenses and costs and prevent them from concealing assets.

How Protection Orders Work as Part of a Divorce

According to the Colorado Revised Statutes, when a couple is going through a divorce, either spouse can request a temporary protection order. The major difference between a protection order issued as part of a divorce and a separate proceeding is that the divorce protection order expires. This means that unless the court in Colorado finds there is a good cause to continue the order to a specific date, it will expire upon the decree of divorce.

Another option, if a spouse is not looking for a comprehensive protection order, is a No-Contact Order, which is issued as part of a divorce. This order is issued by a mutual agreement and provides a spouse with some basic protections, such as not allowing the other spouse to contact them. However, under this order, the protected party cannot contact the police to enforce the order if issues arise. Instead, enforcement is relegated to the allocation of consequences after the fact, such as during a contempt proceeding. For further information regarding these options, consider speaking with a knowledgeable Colorado family law lawyer who can explain the process and go over the significant differences between the two orders.

How Does a Restraining Order Affect a Divorce?

Restraining orders may affect a divorce by impacting how spouses communicate. Protective orders usually limit communication between the parties, which can introduce procedural difficulties when the spouses are trying to address custody issues or financial concerns.

To achieve the basic goals of communication without violating the terms of the protection order, divorcing parties often use attorneys and mediators to help facilitate negotiations and figure out a way to divide assets, parenting schedules, and other issues that need to be addressed. If an in-person mediation is not possible, shuttle diplomacy may be used instead. This method involves using a trained mediator to travel between both sides, negotiating in each case on behalf of the party not present.

Contact a Colorado Divorce Lawyer To Learn More About a Divorce Restraining Order

The family law attorneys at the Colorado Divorce Law Group have years of experience helping clients navigate the legal system in the state. Our legal team understands the laws regarding challenging family law issues and is ready to help our clients get the legal help they need. If you want to know more about a divorce restraining order, or if you have other questions regarding divorce proceedings, please contact our office at (720) 593-6442 to schedule a consultation today.