Most people would agree that amicable divorces are much less common than nasty, ugly divorces, but divorces can be violent. If you are going through a divorce and are afraid your spouse will harm you, you could request a personal protection order (PPO). Here are three things you should know about PPOs.
What Is a PPO?
A PPO is something you can request from the court for protection. While there are several different types available, you will need to request a domestic relationship PPO. This type is available for people with abusive spouses or family members.
Like any restraining order, a PPO offers protection from a person that could potentially cause you harm. When you get a PPO, it prevents the person from contacting you, coming to your house or coming near you.A PPO also prohibits the person from threatening you, buying a gun or having contact with your children. He or she cannot visit or call your workplace, and he or she cannot stalk you. When you have a PPO against a person, he or she must legally follow the order.
How Do You Get One?
To get a PPO, you must request one from the court; however, the court does not generously grant these to whoever asks for them. The court will analyze and review the situation to see if there is a need for one. Here are several factors the judge will analyze during this:
- Does the abuser meet the conditions required for a domestic PPO? To qualify for a domestic PPO, the abuser must be either your spouse, former spouse, close relative or parent of your child.
- Has the abuser hurt you in the past? The judge will look at the information he or she has on your spouse to see if there is evidence that he or she hurt you in the past.
- Does the abuser have a record of stalking or harming people? The judge may also look at the past criminal record to see if there is a history of stalking or harming people.
- Do you have proof of harm? The judge might also require evidence that your spouse harmed you in the past. You can prove this with pictures, police reports or medical reports.
If the judge believes that your spouse could harm you, the judge will grant you the PPO. Judges typically review PPO requests quickly for safety purposes, so you will know soon if the judge approved it.
What Can You Do to Enforce It?
If the court grants you a PPO against your spouse, they must legally abide by it. If they don’t, there are steps you can take to enforce it. The first step is to call the police. If you have a PPO, you will have written proof of the order. If your spouse breaks any of the rules outlined in the order, the police could arrest them.
Choosing to get a PPO is a great way to protect yourself, but you should also make sure you do all you can to enforce it. If your spouse breaks any of the rules, call the police to report it. By doing this, you will have documentation you can use as evidence in the future if you need to go to court or have more protection.
If you need help with your divorce and have not yet hired a lawyer, contact Witzel & Zoeller Lawyers PC. We can help you with your divorce and any related issues. We can also help you get a PPO for protection. Contact us today to learn more about PPOs, how to get one and how it will protect you.