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Defending Against Orders of Protection

Fighting A Restraining Order in a Connecticut Divorce

Westport Divorce Lawyers defend parental rights and visitation for parties wrongfully accused of Domestic Violence in CT Family Court

Under our system of justice, every accused person is entitled to a vigorous defense. If you have been served with a family court restraining order, you have the right to defend your freedom and your reputation. At Needle|Cuda in Westport, our family law attorneys recognize that a petitioner requesting a restraining order may be making untrue allegations, perhaps to gain the upper hand in divorce or child custody litigation. We also understand that during family legal disputes, tensions are high. But that is not a reason to limit an innocent person’s freedom or to permit permanent damage to their reputation, or risk a more serious crime being charged. When you request our help, we act decisively to protect your rights.

What are Restraining Orders and Orders of Protection in Connecticut Divorce

The term “restraining order” refers to any court order that prohibits one person from contacting another. But orders are issued by different courts in different circumstances. The three main types under Connecticut law are:

  • Order of protection — This is a criminal court order, usually following an arrest, that prohibits a criminal defendant from approaching or contacting a complaining citizen. The order lasts as long as the criminal court case takes to conclude.
  • Civil restraining order — This order is issued by the family court when a petitioner fears domestic violence from a current or former family member or someone with whom they have had a cohabiting or dating relationship.
  • Civil order of protection — This family court order is available for victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse and stalking who cannot get a civil restraining order because their relationship to the alleged offender does not qualify.

In our practice, we most often deal with civil restraining orders, often in connection with divorce proceedings or child custody disputes.

What are the effects of a Connecticut Restraining Order?

Having a restraining order issued against you can damage your reputation, curtail your liberty and separate you from those you love. A typical restraining order can prohibit you from:

  • Contacting the petitioner at home, at work or anywhere in public
  • Living at home with your family
  • Seeing your children
  • Possessing firearms

The person obtaining the restraining order can make copies and distribute them to the police, your children’s school or daycare center and local businesses. Your reputation among people receiving the order may be damaged. While under a restraining order, you may have to pay support to your spouse and children. If you violate the order, you are subject to severe penalties, including high fines and prison time.

Fighting a Connecticut Restraining Order in a CT Family Court

An eligible petitioner can obtain a protective order in an ex parte proceeding, where you are not represented. If the court issues a temporary restraining order, you may have to move out of your home and stay away from your children until the court rescinds the order.

However, you are entitled to a hearing before the court issues a long term order. This hearing must take place within seven days if you own firearms or within 14 days of the ex-parte order being granted. At the hearing, you can tell your side of the story and call witnesses in your behalf. Possible outcomes include:

  • The court declines to issue a restraining order
  • The court issues a less restrictive restraining order
  • The court extends the restraining order, which may continue for up to one year or longer

Because you have so much at stake, you should retain capable counsel to protect your rights. We represent our clients assertively at hearings and work out acceptable compromises when we can.

Contact our Westport, CT family law attorneys to defend you against a Connecticut Restraining Order and protect your parental and visitation rights

Needle|Cuda in Fairfield County defends clients against family violence restraining orders throughout Connecticut. We provide highly responsive service and effective representation focused on positive results. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 203-557-9500 or contact our Westport office online.

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