Answer: A temporary protective order is either a six-month or a 12-month order arising out of an allegation of family violence. A lot of times one party or another may be subject to family violence inside of a marriage or a domestic relationship and they need to know that they can apprise themselves of the courts to address these concerns and keep that party away from them. They also need to know that proceeding, where it’s appropriate, can consider child support needs, alimony needs, and immediate possession of property, like the marital residence. So, what we try to do in those proceedings is advocate for our clients to cover those needs on a temporary basis as best the court allows.
A lot of times, these allegations are, unfortunately, raised frivolously, so one party or another may raise them in order to gain leverage in a future divorce proceeding or a pending divorce proceeding. So, what we try to do is vet these allegations based on the facts, and we will argue and treat each case like the divorce trial at hand. They can have significant impacts on the proceedings going on or that they anticipate to occur in the future, whether that’s in a future divorce action or a future custody modification action.
A lot of times, allegations can have long-standing impacts, even when they’re disproven. They can have long-standing impacts on the ability of one party or another to earn a living; they can have an impact on the ability of one party or another to retain custody over a child, and they can have far-reaching impacts on the judge in a proceeding because they’ve been presented with very serious allegations that sometimes might not be based in fact. Parties use them for leverage, unfortunately. It’s our job to vet them and defend our client’s reputation to the best of our ability. And that’s what we’re going to do in these proceedings: we’re going to protect our clients.