Many family law concerns in Colorado are difficult, but these cases can be exponentially more complicated when orders of protection need to be applied. An order of protection, sometimes referred to as a restraining order, is a legal document that is signed by a judge to keep parties apart on a temporary or permanent basis. In family law cases, these documents may be necessary if acts of violence, abuse, neglect or other harmful behavior are being carried out.

Protection orders may include provisions that require certain parties in a dispute to abide by specific terms. For example, a protection order may require one or both parties to attend counseling for anger management before the order will be considered for revision. Likewise, a restraining order may disallow one party from contacting the other party or from physically coming within a certain distance.

Once a protection order has been granted, violating the terms of the order could result in criminal charges. In some states, someone may be charged with contempt of court for violating orders. However, serious or repeat violations may result in felony charges. It’s also important to note that all parties subject to a protection or restraining order must abide by the terms. This means that anyone who violates the order could be subject to criminal charges, not just the party against whom the order was filed.

For couples involved in family disputes, including those pertaining to divorce or child custody, a protection order may be needed to keep the peace during an emotional time. However, understanding the details of the filing process can be difficult. This is why many people in need of protection orders work with family law attorneys. Legal counsel will know how to draft orders of protection, file them appropriately and advise clients of their obligations once an order has been signed by a judge.