Our Salt Lake City protective order attorneys help clients obtain legal protection for themselves and their children when they face an imminent risk of harm. Courts generally move very slowly, but for victims of domestic abuse and their children, procedures exist to provide immediate relief and the protection you need. We fully understand the very real danger a domestic violence situation can present and understand we must act quickly to seek protective orders for our clients. Our office is dedicated to helping people in Utah gain safety and relief from abuse.
Protective orders are available to individuals over the age of 16 who have suffered abuse or fear abuse at the hands of a family member, cohabitant, partner, spouse or other individual with whom there is a preexisting relationship. While these cases often involve allegations of violent physical abuse, actual physical abuse is not required. All that is required is “ abuse or domestic violence, or . . . a substantial likelihood of abuse or domestic violence." Contact us if you believe there is a substantial likelihood of domestic abuse. Many things can cause you to believe you are in substantial danger of abuse such as stalking, threats, and other types of menacing conduct. A temporary protective order becomes effective almost immediately but must be reviewed and made final, usually within 20 days.
An ex parte protective order can have a broad range of effects. These may include prohibiting him/her from telephoning or contacting you directly or indirectly, removing him/her from your home or the marital home even if the home is not in your name, prohibiting him/her from possessing a firearm, and order that you receive temporary custody of your minor children as well as possession and use of an automobile and other essential personal effects. The orders can be enforced with assistance of a police officer, if necessary. The court will hold a follow-up hearing after he/she has been served at which time the Court will determine if it is appropriate to make all or part of the protective order permanent.
The most important thing a protective order can do is give you immediate relief and remove the fear that you may have been living with. Our office, however, still advises our clients to be vigilant. While a protective order prohibits the abuser from taking actions against you, it cannot physically stop him/her from violating the law. A vast majority of the holders of a protective order never have problems; there is always, however, that small percent that isn’t dissuaded by the protective order or the threat of jail for violating the terms of the protective order. That is why every violation, no matter how small, should be reported to the police. People that get away with the small violations may feel free to move on to more brazen violations.
The mere fact you sought a protective orders does not have to mean you are giving up on the relationship. A protective order may be in place long enough for you to work on the issues or it may be in place permanently. If, after obtaining a protective order, you decide to get joint counseling or anything else that requires contact, contact our office. We will seek a modification allowing the contact while leaving in place the remaining protections afforded by the protective order. If the issue has been completely resolved, we can move to vacate the protective order. Keep in mind that the Court will want to see that any modification or removal of the protective order will not place you back in danger.
The Salt Lake City family law attorneys at Enderton & Mathews, LLC., are ready to assist clients living in fear of abuse and will help with a legal separation or divorce if you decide that is the next step. Call us today at (801) 701-8644.
Enderton & Mathews, LLC serves clients throughout Northern Utah, including but not limited to; Salt Lake City, Provo, Spanish Fork, Park City, Layton, Ogden, and Logan.