Fighting a Restraining Order While Filing for Divorce in Colorado

 A Battle on Two Fronts

When you must fight a restraining order while filing for divorce in Colorado Springs, it can feel like you are fighting two battles at once. The emotional, financial, and practical challenges that come with the end of a marriage are hard enough. But when your spouse accuses you, falsely, of threatening them or engaging in violent behavior, the stakes can be even higher.

Pikes Peak area police, prosecutors, and judges take allegations of domestic violence with the utmost seriousness. So too does Colorado law, which provides a swift and harsh mechanism for limiting the rights of those accused of such conduct.

The entry of a restraining order against you can expose you to criminal penalties – including jail time. But a restraining order and the accusations which led to it can also negatively affect your rights in your Colorado divorce case and threaten your relationship with your children.

Your divorce case and your restraining order may be two separate matters, but you must handle each one strategically and carefully. An experienced divorce and criminal defense attorney who also has the background and knowledge to deal with restraining orders and the criminal justice system can be your best shield – and best weapon – as you fight a restraining order while filing for divorce.

Presumed Guilty When Fighting a Restraining Order While Filing For Divorce

A Colorado civil protection order, also commonly called a restraining order, and the request to issue one against you means that your spouse believes that you pose an imminent threat to their safety or that of your children.

A restraining order can dramatically limit your rights, your relationships, and your day-to-day life. A restraining order may prohibit you from contacting your spouse. It can forbid you from seeing your children or put restrictions on how and when you spend time with them. It can keep you out of your home and limit your rights in many other ways.

And if you violate a restraining order, even just slightly or unintentionally, you could face further prosecution, fines, court appearances, missed work, and even jail time.

Even if you did nothing wrong and your spouse made up the allegations to get the upper hand in your divorce or custody battle, you’ll have the full weight of Colorado’s criminal justice system lined up against you.

In many ways, the Colorado criminal laws presume that people accused of domestic violence in a request for a restraining order are guilty. That is why it is so critical that you fight a restraining order while filing for divorce. You don’t want the judge in your divorce case to have their perspective distorted by an unwarranted protective order based on false accusations.

Related: How to Defend Yourself Against a Protection Order in Colorado

Telling Your Side of The Story

If a Pikes Peak area police officer arrests you for domestic assault, the police and courts will automatically issue a 72-hour restraining order against you that prevents you from coming within a certain distance of your spouse or children.

Even without an arrest, your spouse can seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) against you.  Your spouse can do so without providing you with any notice. Making matters worse, if a Colorado Springs judge concludes that there is enough justification for granting your spouse’s request, the judge may enter the restraining order without giving you any chance to fight the allegations – at least for the moment.

TROs in Colorado usually expire within 14 days. Before a temporary restraining order does expire, you will have a chance to fight the order. At this point, you and your attorney will appear at a hearing to present evidence, testimony, and arguments as to why a restraining order is unjustified and why the court should reject your spouse’s request.

When you fight a restraining order while filing for divorce, a positive outcome at this hearing is critical. This is where having an attorney skilled in both divorce and criminal law can make all the difference. An experienced, aggressive, and committed lawyer can tell your side of the story, debunk false allegations against you, and ensure that you keep all of your rights in the face of a spouse and a system determined to take them away from you.

Related: Understanding Protection Order Violations In Colorado Springs: A Comprehensive Guide

Evidence Needed to Fight a Restraining Order While Filing For Divorce in Colorado

The purpose of a restraining order in Colorado is to protect a vulnerable person from legitimate and real threats and to keep domestic disputes from escalating into more serious acts of violence, as they often do. Unfortunately, when a marriage ends, a spouse can try to wrongfully use a restraining order as a weapon in their divorce.

False claims, particularly those involving domestic violence or child abuse, often form the basis for the entry of a Colorado restraining order during a divorce. Anger, resentment, and a desire to hurt the other spouse can be behind such accusations, or it can be a way to get an advantage in the divorce or gain leverage in a child custody dispute.

No matter why your spouse sought a restraining order, defending yourself against false allegations at your restraining order hearing requires more than just your word. You need as much evidence as you can gather so that your lawyer can forcefully fight your spouse’s claims about what you supposedly did or said.

Your attorney will want everything you have – notes, photos, emails, voicemails, texts, social media posts, eyewitness accounts – that pertain to the allegations or that could cast doubt on them.

If other people are eyewitnesses to the alleged domestic violence incident, your lawyer will want to speak to any such witnesses or have them testify to support your story. Other people including family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc., may be able to testify about your character or that of your spouse, showing how absurd the allegations are.

Efforts to fight a restraining order while filing for divorce involve intense feelings. When you appear at your hearing, keep your emotions in check, no matter how upset you are or how strongly you feel about the false allegations against you. The judge will be paying close attention to how you act, so don’t do anything that would make him or her think that you are prone to anger or irrational outbursts.

Bryson Perkins: Experienced Divorce AND Criminal Defense Attorney

If you need to fight a restraining order while filing for divorce, having a lawyer who knows the criminal justice system as well as he does divorce law can give you a distinct advantage. Bryson Perkins is an experienced and skilled Colorado Springs divorce and criminal defense attorney who understands how to tailor your defense to the specific circumstances of your case. Working closely with Bryson, you can defeat your spouse’s request for a restraining order and preserve your rights and relationships.

Bryson Perkins is rated one of the best divorce lawyers in Colorado Springs.  Click to schedule a free consultation with a Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney.

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