What is a Protective Order?
A protective order, also known as a restraining order, is designed to prevent one party from being in proximity to another, usually for safety reasons. When someone is facing a threat or harassment, they may file for a protective order to keep that person away from them.
Protective orders in Chickasha offer space and safety for someone who feels they need to be legally, physically distanced from someone else. One instance when protective orders are often issued is a divorce. If a divorcing couple is dealing with long, drawn-out proceedings, one person may seek a protective order.
Who Needs a Protective Order?
Everyone from strangers to exes to family members can get a protective order. They could all have a reason to get one. Perhaps a woman is being stalked by a man. She finds out who he is and files for a protective order. Maybe a man is being harassed by his ex-girlfriend, so he files for one. Estranged family members and divorcing couples could also seek one.
Not everyone who files for a protective order in Grady County is granted one. They must show cause that it should be imposed. Also, the person who the protective order is filed against has an opportunity to contest it.
Since protective orders are legally binding, they offer more protection to the filing party. For example, a woman is being threatened by her ex-husband who shows up at her house. She calls the police.
Without a protective order, they may still be able to arrest him. However, his consequences won’t be as severe, so he may risk showing up again. With a protective order, he’ll be in trouble not only for harassment but also for breaching the protective order. The legal ramifications alone might dissuade him from bothering her.
Protective Orders in a Divorce
Protective orders can really come in handy in a divorce, especially a messy one. While communication is important in divorce proceedings, the two spouses don’t always need to be in close physical proximity. If the wife was abused, she may want a protective order to keep her husband away from her while the divorce is pending. That physical space allows for physical healing. It can also help her heal emotionally.
Whether one spouse wants space, safety, or both, they can file for a protective order. However, that’s not always the best course of action. If there are children involved, attempting to keep one of the parents from their child with a protective order could reflect poorly on the person who filed for it.
It’s also possible for both spouses to file protective orders against each other. These are called mutual protective orders. While they’re intended to make things easier, they could actually make the divorce proceedings more difficult.
How Do You Get a Protective Order?
Protective orders in Oklahoma are issued ex parte, which means only the party seeking the protective order appears in court. If the order is approved, the subject gets served with it. Then they go to court to explain why the order shouldn’t be permanent. The longest an order can last is five years, and their goal is going to be to reduce that.
The court must set a “show cause” hearing within two weeks of the protective order being issued. At this hearing, the person who filed for the order must show why it should be imposed. This is also the subject’s first chance to get the order lifted.
In pending divorce cases, the “show cause” hearing may be postponed so that it can be combined with the divorce proceedings. In that case, the subject would have to wait until the hearing to have a chance to get the order lifted.
Whether you’re considering filing for a protective order or one has been filed against you, it’s important to understand the facts. You can use this information to decide how to move forward.