Restraining Orders in the Family Law Context  

Sometimes having a restraining order in place is the only way to keep yourself protected.

If you or a loved one is facing a situation in which a restraining order has been issued, it is important that you understand the basic implications behind a restraining order as a legal measure.

Restraining Order 101

A restraining order is a civil order issued by the courts restricting one person’s ability to communicate with or be in the physical presence of another. Restraining orders are issued by the courts when there have been threats, violence, or allegations of threats and violence.

There are two categories of restraining orders in family law cases in Colorado: (1) a temporary restraining order (TRO); and (2) permanent restraining orders (PRO). The TRO is typically issued first. A hearing to issue a permanent restraining order is held later if the need arises.

If you are a party with a restraining order against you, you may be subject to the following restrictions:

  • Barred from communicating with the victim in person, over the phone, or electronically.
  • Barred from coming within a specific distance of the victim’s home or work.
  • Barred from communicating or coming in contact with any involved children or coming near their schools.
  • Barred from entering public spaces the victim frequents.
  • Both parties may be present at the hearing for the PRO. It is highly advised that both parties bring along a family lawyer.

Restraining Order Violations

Recipients of a restraining order may face criminal charges when they contact the victim, come near the victim, or enter a space from which they have been barred under the order.

If the police have been contacted and do not believe there is evidence for criminal charges, the victim can still file a motion of contempt.

It is extraordinarily important that those who have restraining orders filed against them abide by all of the restrictions.

If you accidentally violate your own restraining order, you cannot be arrested or charged with contempt for contacting the person you have a restraining order against. It is ill-advised to do so. The defendant may be able to use the contact as justification to have the order dismissed or modified to allow them more contact. Usually a restraining order may be modified to allow limited contact. This contact may allow those involved to discuss issues related to children etc.

Restraining orders are a helpful and a necessary remedy when there have been threats, violence, or other alarming behavior. However, it can be devastating to be subject to a restraining order keeping you from your home and children when you do not deserve it. Kalamaya | Goscha is able to help people on either side of a restraining order.

Kalamaya | Goscha is a Colorado law firm founded by Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha. The boutique mountain law practice specializes in divorce, child custody, and family law. Kalamaya | Goscha has law offices in Edwards, Aspen, and Glenwood Springs. To speak to an attorney call (970) 315-2365.

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