While it is likely that all divorces occurring on Long Island cause some emotional distress, some are extremely turbulent and cause more emotional harm on one or both spouses and their children than you might anticipate. If you find yourself in such a situation and fear for the physical or emotional health and safety of either you or your children, you may consider obtaining a temporary Restraining Order or an Order of Protection against your partner through the Nassau County or Suffolk County Court System.
What is an Order of Protection?
When people think of an Order of Protection most minds tend to jump to domestic violence cases. While these certainly occur, you do not have to have a pending domestic violence suit to obtain an Order of Protection in Nassau or Suffolk County, NY. An Order of Protection protects you and your family, and most importantly your children, from the harassing or threatening behavior of your partner. The individual against whom you have obtained the order can be prohibited from entering your home, workplace, and even the school your children attend. Orders of Protection can be particularly helpful in divorce cases, an Order of Protection can order your spouse to pay child support or even move out of the family home if you are both still residing together.
Are There Different Types of Orders of Protection?
Orders of protection do not come in cookie cutter form; they are individually tailored to meet the specific needs of your situation. Important to one seeking an Order of Protection are the outside circumstances that led one to do so. If there are instances of domestic violence in your relationship, you will need to file for the Order of Protection in the Nassau or Suffolk County Family Court. Keep in mind that in order to obtain an Order of Protection in family court, the individual against whom you are seeking the order must be either your spouse (current or former) or the other parent of your child.
Hopefully, you are not in a situation that involves domestic violence, and if that is the case, you will then need to obtain your Order of Protection through the Nassau or Suffolk County Supreme Court. In this case, your divorce attorney should attempt to obtain the Order of Protection while the divorce proceeding is ongoing by either making a motion to the court or orally requesting the order during a court proceeding.
Is an Order of Protection Right for Me?
Whether or not you need to obtain an Order of Protection against your spouse is a purely personal decision made based upon the facts of your unique situation. If there is domestic violence involved, obtaining an Order of Protection may be the first step to ensuring the physical safety of both you and your children. If you are not involved in a domestic violence situation, and you desire the Order of Protection to force your ex-spouse to comply with the divorce judgment, the decision may not be such an obvious one. You should consider why your ex-spouse is not complying with the divorce judgment; maybe he or she lost a job or has been having recent health problems.
How Will the Order of Protection Affect Your Children?
Also consider the effect that obtaining an Order of Protection against your ex-spouse will have on your children. If your ex-spouse already is not complying with the terms of the divorce judgment and failing to follow a child custody or child support arrangement, it is likely that your child is already aware of this and feels poorly. It would be important to consider how an Order of Protection would make your child feel; either good that his or her parent is now spending time with them or poorly because they know it is forced. Every child and every situation is different; there is no correct answer.
What if the Order of Protection is Violated?
If the individual disobeys the order and you call the police, there is the potential that he or she will end up in jail. While some classify an Order of Protection as “only a piece of paper” the threat of jail time for violating the Order often deters many individuals from doing so. However, jail is not always the solution a court finds appropriate to violations of an Order of Protection. Depending upon the circumstances and how often the Order of Protection has been violated, a court may determine that jail is not appropriate, but rather, will alter the existing Order of Protection to make it more effective.
Need Help Obtaining An Order of Protection?
Have Questions About Orders of Protection in Nassau or Suffolk County?
If you have questions or need assistance with obtaining an Order of Protection against your spouse in Nassau County or Suffolk County, we can help. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page for a free, confidential, consultation in the safety and security of our offices.