CourtroomThis is the next post in my series discussing the handling of Temporary Protective Orders in Melbourne, Florida family law cases. My previous article discussed defending one’s self against a TPO based on false allegations. In this article I will explain what will happen once a TPO is issued. If you are involved in any matter involving a Protective Order then it is important to contact an attorney immediately.

At its most basic a TPO order will mandate that the accused stay a specified distance from the accuser, for example 100 yards, and to refrain from contacting the accuser in any way. This means that the accused cannot call, email, or text the accuser. They also may not come to their home or show up at their place of work. When the two people involved are going through a divorce or share custody of a child then matters can become more complicated. If the couple was living together at the time the TPO was issued then a Judge can force the accused to move out of the couple’s residency immediately. If this is the case the accused will often have to schedule a time to gather their personal belongings and be supervised by a policeman during the time the accused is in the couple’s home. In domestic matters TPO’s also often include other persons in the protection request. Such additional persons may include children or family members. If the couple shares children then a Judge will determine if the accused is to have reduced or supervised visitation. A Judge will also make orders on issues such as child custody and support, and will also determine a temporary plan for co-parenting and sharing crucial information regarding the children while the order is in place.

An initial TPO will be in place for a relatively short period of time, for example thirty days. At the end of the temporary period a hearing will be held to determine if the Order should be extended. When deciding if the Order should be extended a Judge will consider issues such as the seriousness of the original allegations, the extent to which the accused abided by the Court’s orders, and will evaluate evidence presented from both sides arguing whether or not the accused remains a threat. At the hearing a Judge will either determine that Protective Order is no longer needed and dissolve the order, or will determine that protection is still needed and extend the order for a longer period of time.

TPO’s are serious restrictions on a person’s civil liberties, can impact child custody, and may have negative effects on other areas of one’s life. They should only be taken out if a person feels their safety is in danger. If you are in need of a TPO, or you have been served one due to false allegations, then it is important to retain an attorney immediately. Contact our office to speak with a lawyer. 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.