Judge Signing Paperwork for a Protective OrderDivorce can be an extremely stressful and life-changing event. When the process of dissolving a marriage becomes contentious and tempers flare, people can say or do things that endanger or harm others. Sometimes, these things are out of character and a temporary protective order can keep the parties apart and restrict their communications until cooler heads prevail. Other times, the threats, harassment, and abuse are part of a continuing history of domestic violence, in which case a permanent protective order may be needed to keep you and your family safe.

If you're preparing for or going through a divorce and your spouse or another household member's behavior has left you fearful for your safety or the safety of your loved ones, an adept Oklahoma divorce attorney can help you navigate the unfamiliar process to obtain an order of protection.

Courageous, Combat-Trained, and Trial-Ready Legal Counsel for Oklahoma Divorces and Protective Orders

Looking for fierce and fearless legal representation? You've come to the right place.

Before becoming an attorney, Diana Cupps enjoyed successful careers in the Army and as an emergency room nurse. Then, her experiences with divorce and domestic violence encouraged her to go to law school and dedicate her life to protecting and helping others in yet another way. Diana's been through a lot and came out the other side even stronger. As Diana the Lawyer, she uses her professional, personal, and legal knowledge and experience to help her clients do the same.

Concerned for your welfare or the welfare of your children? Here's what you need to know about Oklahoma protective orders, how they can affect a divorce, and what it takes to get one.

Understanding Protective Orders

Also known as restraining orders, protective orders are legal orders issued by civil courts that instruct one party, the respondent, to cease contact with the petitioner and others named in the Petition for an Order of Protection. Protective orders can place clear restrictions on an abuser's actions and communications. For example, your protective order might order the respondent to:

  • Leave the family home
  • Stay away from your home, workplace, and family
  • Have no contact with you and other protected parties (including phone calls, letters, emails, text messages, or attempting to contact you indirectly through other people)
  • Stay away from your children, their babysitter, daycare, or school
  • Surrender weapons that they own or are in possession of

Protective orders aren't meant to punish abusers. Instead, they're intended to deter and prevent further harassment or violence. However, the penalties for violating an order of protection are stiff and may include significant fines and a jail or prison sentence. Factors such as whether it is a first or subsequent offense and whether the violation resulted in physical harm to protected parties can impact the severity of the consequences.

Types of Restraining Orders

Oklahoma courts can issue three types of protective orders: emergency temporary orders, emergency ex parte order, and final orders of protection.

  • Emergency temporary protective orders. Often issued at the scene of a domestic violence incident where one or both parties require protection, these orders only require verbal approval from a judge, but expire at the end of the following business day.
  • Emergency ex parte protective orders. You can petition for an emergency order of protection (or to extend a temporary order into an emergency order) in the county courthouse in the county where you or the abuser live, or where the threatening or violent events occurred. If the judge grants the petition and issues the protective order, it can remain in effect for up to 14 days.
  • Final orders of protection. A hearing for a final order of protection will be scheduled within two weeks of the issuance of the emergency ex parte order. If a judge agrees that a protective order is still needed, they could issue one that lasts for five years or opts for a continuous order with no specified end date.

Parties in Protective Orders

In Oklahoma, you can petition the court for an order of protection against anyone with whom you live or have lived, have or had a dating relationship, or are related by blood or marriage. Additionally, though the court generally requires the petitioner to show that they have some sort of intimate partner or household member relationship with the respondent, that is not the case for victims of rape, forcible sodomy, other sexual offenses, kidnapping, assault and battery with a deadly weapon, or family of murder victims. Stalking victims can pursue a protective order without a prior relationship, provided that they can prove they've already reported the stalking to law enforcement.

How Protective Orders Can Affect an Oklahoma Divorce

Restraining orders can offer numerous benefits. For example, they can protect you and your children from abuse, prevent your abuser from stalking or harassing you in the workplace, and result in the imposition of robust criminal penalties if violated. Also, though a protective order doesn't determine custody, the court may decide to restrict or suspend the visitation or parental rights of the respondent parent.

Those aren't the only ways the issuance of an order of protection can impact your divorce. It can also make figuring out the details of the divorce agreement more difficult. Fortunately, with caring, capable, and daring legal counsel you can keep yourself safe and get the respect—and the divorce settlement—you deserve.

Get the Protection and Exceptional Legal Guidance You Deserve

Going through a divorce can be difficult. The last thing you should have to worry about is learning the legal system so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Let Diana the Lawyer take the lead. Complete our online contact form or call our Jenks law office at 918-605-4826 to schedule an appointment for a confidential consultation to find out how Diana can help you achieve your divorce and protective order objectives.