An increasing number of former spouses or partners resort to getting a restraining order against the other party. Not only does it serve as the claimant’s protective shield from physical abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, but also bolsters their claims against the other party.
Getting a restraining order is nothing like any other court action, as the court in Salt Lake City and elsewhere in Utah grants a “temporary ex parte restraining order” immediately after the alleged victim makes a one-sided allegation of physical or sexual abuse or domestic violence without giving the alleged abuser an opportunity to defend himself/herself against the claims.
This temporary restraining order remains in effect until the court holds a hearing on the matter to decide whether to keep the order or eliminate it. A restraining order can serve as a major obstacle in reaching a consensus in a family law case, as the two sides will most likely not be able participate in mediation.
Exaggerated or made up restraining orders
“Unfortunately, not everyone files for a restraining order in good faith,” says a Salt Lake City family law attorney at the Ault Legal. “It is a usual scenario when a spouse exaggerates his or her claims or even makes it all up out of whole cloth to obtain a temporary protective order in their divorce and get full custody of the children and remain in the house while keeping the other spouse away at a safe distance.”
Regardless of how bizarre those claims are and whether your spouse lied when he or she filed for a protective order, it is critical that you comply with it. In no way should you come near your spouse if you have been served with a copy of a temporary restraining order, as you could end up in jail.
What happens if you violate the protective order?
Yes, even if your spouse lied his/her way into getting a protective order against you, there is nothing much you can do about it except wait for the court to decide whether to cancel the order or keep it. By violating that order, not only will you be criminally charged, but may also ruin your family law case altogether.
“We have seen this way too many times: a spouse gets a restraining order against her spouse by lying, and that spouse attempts to reach out to figure out what is going on, thus violating the order,” says our best family law attorney in Salt Lake City. “As a result, he is criminally charged for violating the protective order.”
And on top of that, people who violate a temporary protective order are stuck with a permanent protective order and significantly diminish their chances of legal success. So what should you do if you have been served with a protective order but you absolutely disagree with it or if the allegations made by your spouse are false?
What to do if you have been served with a protective order?
Your best option is to follow the conditions outlined in the protective order and wait. Wait until the court holds a hearing on the matter. If you are represented by a Salt Lake City family law attorney, you may be able to ask for an expedited hearing to cancel the order.
In order to do that, you will be required to show proof that your spouse’s allegations are exaggerated or made up, and/or impose an undue burden. If you are legally represented, you may even be able to make the other spouse pay your legal bills, compensate for any financial harm the temporary order caused you, and/or let you spend time with your kids the same number of days, weeks, or month that you lost because of the restraining order.
A protective order, even a temporary one, is a serious matter that should be handled just as seriously. Contact the Ault Legal to get a free consultation about your particular case. Find out what your best legal options are. Call our offices at 801-539-9000 or fill out this contact form.