Have you been a victim of domestic violence or wrongfully accused of domestic violence? If so, you may be the subject of what is called a "Protective Order." Under the Utah Cohabitant Abuse Act (found at UCA § 78B-7-101) an adult may obtain a protective order against another adult “cohabitant”—a person you have lived with, had a child with, or to whom you are related to by blood or marriage.
A protective order (sometimes mistakenly called a “restraining order”) may order one party to stay away from the other party, including the other party’s home, vehicle, place of work, and other locations. The protective order may also ban all communication with the other party, including phone calls, emails, and text messages. In addition, pursuant to a protective order, the court may also grant the party requesting the protective order temporary custody of any children the parties had together, along with an order that child support be paid, including medical and daycare expenses.
A protective order may also affect the party against whom the protective order is issued (i.e. the “Respondent”) by preventing that party from obtaining certain security clearances for employment, holding certain employment licenses, and exercising the right to carry or own a firearm.
Because a protective order can place such great limitations upon the responding party, one should not seek a protective order lightly. On the other hand, if you are the victim of abuse or threat of abuse, a protective order may be the only way to keep you and you’re your loved ones safe. Call today to consult with an attorney to determine whether obtaining a protective order is right for you, or if you need help in defending yourself against false allegations of abuse.