Impact on Family Law case
In some cases, the person that obtained the Order of Protection will be able to include the parties’ children on the Order. That means that the other parent will be prohibited from being near his or her children, or contacting them for the duration of the order (1 year). In those cases, the reason to request a hearing is clear – you either win a hearing (at least to the extent of removing the children) or you will not see your children for a year.
Even if your children are not included on the order, an Order of Protection may still have consequences in your Family Law case.
First, co-parenting is difficult when there is an Order of Protection between the parents.
Many times the parent with the Order against him/her is only permitted to contact the protected person by e-mail or text and then only about the children.
Second, the Order of Protection makes parenting time exchanges extremely difficult as the parties cannot be in the presence of one another, even for the brief time period required to exchange the children.
Additionally, an Order of Protection is a finding of domestic violence, which may have a negative impact on your ability to be awarded joint legal decision-making authority for your children. The law requires the Judge to consider the best interests of the child and whether there has been domestic violence when awarding legal decision making between the parents or to just one parent.
Impact on Gun Rights
If the protective order is an Order of Protection, and you lose at the hearing, you will be prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition, and explosives for the duration of the order (1 year).
There is a federal law that prohibits certain individuals from possessing firearms, including people who are subject to an Order of Protection. It is possible that when the Judge originally issued the Order he/she made a finding that you pose a credible threat to the protected person and already prohibited you from possessing firearms before you even ask for a hearing. However, more often than not, you do not become a prohibited possessor until you request a hearing and lose.
As a result of this federal law, many people with an Order of Protection against them choose to let the Order remain in place, without ever asking for a hearing, to avoid the risk of losing their gun rights.
Avid gun enthusiasts and people who need to carry a gun for work are more likely to allow the Order to stay in place to ensure they retain their gun rights. Others have to take their chances with the hearing because the party that filed was successful in getting the children included on the Order of Protection.
No matter what the facts of your case are, it is best to contact an attorney before requesting a hearing. If you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at (480) 994-8824 or CLICK HERE to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.