If you or someone you love is experiencing domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800)799-7233 for confidential support at any time. You can also visit Violence free Colorado to find local support, including emergency shelter and financial assistance.
You also have the right to petition the Colorado court for a protection order, which is sometimes called a restraining order. According to Colorado Revised Statute Article 14, temporary and permanent civil protection orders can be issued against an adult or juvenile over 10 years old for the following reasons:
- To prevent assault and threatened bodily harm
- To prevent domestic abuse
- To prevent emotional abuse of an elderly person or an at-risk adult
- To prevent sexual assault or abuse
- To prevent stalking
If you feel that you or a member of your household is in imminent danger, you may choose to request a Temporary Protection Order, which lasts for two weeks in Colorado. You can then request that it be made permanent during subsequent court hearings. A protection order can also be granted as part of a divorce proceeding.
An experienced attorney can help to ensure that you correctly fill out all the necessary forms and provide the necessary documents to support your petition. They can also advocate on your behalf during your court hearings.
What Does a Protection Order Do?
In a protection order, the person requesting a protection order is called the “protected party” or “protected person” and the person against whom the protection order is requested is called the “restrained party.” The details of a protection order will vary depending on your particular situation, but it is designed to give the state relatively broad powers to protect victims/survivors of domestic and child abuse from abusers, including by:
- Granting the protected party temporary child custody for up to a year
- Granting the protected party temporary possession of a shared home
- Compelling the restrained party to leave a shared home
- Minimizing or forbidding contact between the restrained party and the protected party
- Forbidding the restrained party from going within a set distance (typically 100 feet) from anyone in the protected party
- In some cases, prohibiting the restrained party from owning or possessing a firearm
What If a Protection Order Is Violated?
If a restrained party violates the terms of a protection order, whether by contacting you in any way or by appearing at your home or workplace, you should immediately call the police. Be sure to mention to the police that you have a protection order against that person. Once a protection order is issued, the restrained party will be entered into a police database, which means that the police will know they can arrest the restrained person if they are found violating the terms of the order. A person found violating a protection order can be jailed and/or fined.
What if My Protection Order Was Granted Outside of Colorado?
Colorado honors protection orders that are issued by another United States territory, commonwealth, or state, or by an Indian tribe. Those protection orders are granted “full faith and credit” in Colorado as if it were issued in Colorado itself, as long as it meets certain conditions. If you are unsure if your protection order is valid in Colorado, you should consult a qualified and reputable family law attorney as soon as possible.
How Clawson & Clawson, LLP Can Help You Protect Your Family’s Safety
At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, we understand that there is nothing more important than the safety of you and your family. Our compassionate and dedicated attorneys can help you and your family find a way forward in the aftermath of domestic abuse, whether that is by helping you navigate all the requirements necessary to obtain and enforce a protection order against an abuser, securing custody of your children, or filing for divorce.
Do you need a family law attorney to help you file, modify, or enforce a protection order in Colorado? Contact Clawson & Clawson, LLP at (719) 602-5888 to schedule a consultation today.