Domestic Violence & Personal Protection Orders (PPOs)
These issues are very common with divorce and custody cases. When a romantic relationship goes bad, it can bring out the worst in people. Sometimes the complaints are legitimate, and sometimes they are not. Either way, domestic violence issues and Personal Protection Orders (Michigan’s version of a domestic restraining order) can be used against a husband or a father to prevent contact with his wife or significant other. These allegations can also be used to keep you from having contact with your children.
At ADAM we have seen all the different scenarios, and we have learned from the mistakes our own clients make. We know how domestic violence claims are treated in the court system and how to respond to a Personal Protection Order or other claims of alleged violence. We can be there with you every step of the way to deal with what can be one of the most difficult and dangerous aspects of divorce and custody cases.
Personal Protection Orders
If there is violence or alleged violence in a relationship, it is possible to seek a protection order. In Michigan family courts, it is also possible to have a Personal Protection Order entered without a court hearing. These orders are called ex parte orders and can be signed by a Judge without your appearance at a court hearing. With the right facts, or the right alleged facts, it is possible for a woman to file a petition for a Personal Protection Order against you, to get that court order signed ex parte without a hearing, and for that court order to take effect immediately. This court order can and usually does prevent you from living at your house. It can also prevent contact between you and your wife, or if you’re not married, the mother of your children. The court order can also prevent or restrict contact between you and your children.
How a Personal Protection Order or PPO in Michigan is Obtained
A Personal Protection Order, or PPO, is an order signed by a judge that enjoins or prevents you from stalking or harassing your wife, ex-wife or significant other. While you can obtain or contest a PPO without an attorney, it is highly recommended that you retain an experienced lawyer to help you through this complicated process. There are strict time limits between the date you are served and when you must file a motion to set aside the PPO, so it is crucial that you contact our office today for a free consultation for help with these issues.
A domestic relationship PPO is available to protect you or your wife (or mother of your children) from criminal harassment or violence. A domestic relationship PPO is available to restrain the following people: petitioner’s spouse or former spouse; a person with whom the petitioner has a child in common; or, a person who resides or has resided in the same household as the petitioner. A domestic relationship PPO can also be obtained against a person with whom the petitioner has or previously had a “dating relationship.”
There is no filing fee required to file a petition for a Personal Protection Order. A PPO, once entered by a Judge, will take effect immediately and will expire in one year, although a judge can shorten the expiration date to less than a year. Even if a PPO isn’t signed on the spot, the court could set a hearing which you would need to attend to state your care in support of or in opposition to a PPO.
A domestic relationship PPO can prohibit the abuser from any or all of the following: entering your home or workplace; assaulting, attacking, beating, molesting or wounding you or another person; threatening to kill or physically injure you or another person; removing your children from you if you have legal custody of them; buying or possessing a gun. The PPO can limit actions and behaviors in many other ways, depending on the circumstances.
You may ask for specific protections when you fill out your paperwork, but the judge will decide what your PPO will prohibit and will not prohibit. A judge will normally take three types of actions when presented with a petition for a PPO: they can deny the PPO without a hearing, they can grant a hearing, or they can enter the PPO, and give it immediate effect without a court hearing.
You can see where this can become serious business very quickly. The attorneys at ADAM are experienced in handling all aspects of PPOs, including petitioning for a PPO, objecting to a PPO, getting a PPO dismissed, or modifying a PPO when appropriate based on the circumstances. PPO’s can easily become intertwined with divorce and custody cases, and the attorneys at ADAM are able to give you advice about how to proceed when facing a PPO or domestic violence situation.