Child walking to schoolThis is the next post in my series on the handling of Protective Orders in Melbourne, Florida. My last article explained how to obtain a Temporary Protective Order if you are being threatened or harassed. If you fear that your life or safety are in danger then it is important to contact an attorney and file for protection as quickly as possible. In this post I will explain how a TPO can impact one’s child custody situation.

In any child custody or time share case the Court’s primary concern will be the best interests of the child. It goes without saying that it is likely not in the child’s best interests to be in the presence of someone who is dangerous. If one is in danger due to their child’s other parent then the situation may justify a modification of your current custody order. The first step in making this change is to have your lawyer file a Petition to modify the current Court Order. If the other parent’s erratic conduct is creating an emergency situation then it is possible to obtain an expedited hearing on the Petition. If the Court can be shown objective evidence of dangerous conduct (such as police reports, threatening text messages, etc.) then the Judge will often order a temporary change to the Order and that change will take place immediately. The Court will also schedule a trial to determine if the change should be made permanent. How the Court will rule in any given situation, however, will always be determined by the specific facts of the case.

It is also important to understand that a TPO, based on false allegations, can also impact one’s custody situation. Unfortunately, there are many instances in which one parent will make false claims of violence or harassment in an attempt to gain an advantage in their custody proceedings – the theory of such a strategy being that one can “get custody” if they falsely claim the other parent is violent. Such claims can result in the accused parent being named the child’s caretaker as they show the accusing parent’s efforts to frustrate any relationship between the child and the accused. If one is falsely accused in a TPO application (a topic I will discuss further in my next post) then they should consider requesting a change to the current Order.

Contact my Melbourne office today if you are dealing with a TPO and have an active child custody case. As a family law attorney I am experienced in handling such matters. We also services clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.