Protection Orders can be an effective way getting at least temporary physical separation between two feuding parties. But there are a couple of considerations deserving of serious thought.
Protection Orders are statutory creatures in both Missouri and Kansas.
Protection Orders are statutory creatures in both Missouri and Kansas. They are designed to protect one party from another who is abusive or threatening abuse. They are relatively simple to obtain in the typical circumstances — two parties residing together in a disintegrating relationship which has escalated into verbal or physical abuse. The order is based on a written, signed application that sets out the facts. Forms are available so that you do not need an attorney in your initial filing. The judge reviews the allegations and determines whether protection is needed. Out of an abundance of caution the court may go ahead and enter temporary protection orders based on those allegations.
What is not well understood is that those temporary orders are subject to a full review after the accused party has been served. That accused party can file his or her own counter-claim, and appear in court in his or her own defense. At that time the accused can admit fault and allow a Protection Order to be entered, or can fight the charges at a trial. If the court determines that the accusations are valid it can enter long-term Protection Orders.
- First, protection orders can be a stepping stone to a party gaining temporary custody of children. That can influence and sometimes control a custody battle should a divorce or paternity action be filed in the future.
- Second, have as strong a case as you can if you are going to file for a Protection Order. Accusations of abuse in a public forum are not taken lightly by the party accused. Resentment—especially if the allegations are unfounded or overblown–will be high. If the temporary protection order is not sustained or if it is dismissed following a trial, there will be no Protection Order going forward unless there is a new incident.
We know of one law firm’s advertising suggesting that one party to a marriage can get a Protection Order and in doing so possibly salvage their relationship. Our experience is that a Protection Order only further undermines an already sour relationship. Parties do not typically reconcile after issuance of a Protection Order.
Take action on your own if circumstances warrant. Otherwise Richard Ralls of Ralls Law Firm can assist you in filing a Protection Order or at trial.
Call us at 913.236.7260 or 816.421.4222. Licensed in Kansas and Missouri.