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Orders of Protection

Orders of Protection

Domestic violence or relationship abuse can often, sadly, be part of an ongoing divorce proceeding. No one should ever feel that they are being controlled, victimized, or physically abused by another person. Court orders known as Orders of Protection, tell the abuser to stop abusing you and/or your children and other named persons, and if they do not they can be charged with a crime, be arrested, or even put in jail.

At Erin Colgan Law, we help victims of domestic violence to obtain Orders of Protection, particularly as part of an ongoing divorce proceeding. As a former prosecutor in Richmond County, Erin has helped many to petition the court for an Order of Protection, to address a variety of unfortunate domestic violence situations.

Conversely, it can be very damaging to an individual’s reputation to be accused of domestic violence falsely. If this occurs, our office will work with a client to achieve an outcome that will not result in a record of wrongdoing. A finding of a Family Offense can affect a parent seeking custody of a child and can even impact the overall equitable distribution of assets in New York State. If you are a member of service, such as the NYPD, it can affect your ability to carry out your job duties in that you may need to surrender your weapons.

It is important to dial down any conflict before a matter goes before a judge with a request for a protective order. A very real outcome could also be the exclusion from your home. We will work with clients to try to avoid the most severe consequences of domestic violence allegations so that the client can move forward to a fair resolution. This may involve working aggressively towards a dismissal or agreeing to mutually acceptable terms to limit court intervention and ensure safety and peace between the parties.

At Erin Colgan Law, we take domestic violence very seriously, as it should be and we work hard to help clients to navigate through it so that they can transition safely into their post-separation lives.

How do Orders of Protection work in New York state?

In New York state, an Order of Protection is issued by the court to restrict someone from harming or threatening to harm another person, and frequently stem from domestic violence situations. Such an order may be issued in New York by the Family Courts, criminal courts, and Supreme Courts as a safety measure to prevent violence. An order of protection issued by the Family Courts directs an offender to not injure, threaten or harass someone, that person’s spouse, family, or any other person listed on the order. Other orders can have a full stay away provision which does not permit the offender from contacting the victim. The court can make carve out exceptions to facilitate contact with the children pursuant to subsequent orders.

Orders of protection may direct the subject of the order to stay away from someone and/or that person’s children, vacate a shared residence, follow child custody order, pay child support, and to not have a gun. Of course, anyone in a fearful situation and/or emergency requiring immediate intervention should phone 911 for assistance.

FAQ about Orders of Protection in New York

1. How do I obtain an Order of Protection in New York?

By petitioning the Family Court, criminal court, or Supreme Court (e.g., In connection with your divorce proceeding) for one. For an order of protection to be issued by a family court, your relationship of protection must be with that of a current or former spouse; someone with whom you share a child; a family relation by blood or marriage, or someone with whom you have been “intimate”, with or without a sexual relationship.

2. Is a Family Court Order of Protection confidential?

Yes, all Family Court Orders of Protection in New York State are confidential.

3. Is the Integrated Domestic Violence court, another form of protection?

The Integrated Domestic Violence courts (IDV) were developed to serve New York’s families in crisis by providing a “one family one judge” approach that allows a single judge to hear cases arising from domestic violence. The IDV allows criminal matrimonial and family court cases involving a single family to be eligible to have related cases heard in a single court, by a single judge! Therefore, via IDV, domestic violence victims do not appear in front of multiple courts and judges with different views of the same situation that might negatively affect victims, their children, and families. To learn more, visit the IDV website.

4. Does New York state offer resources for victims of domestic violence?

Yes. To find specific resources in your location, visit The New York State Coalition against Domestic Violence website and its Resources directory page.

If you have a question about petitioning the court for an order of protection, call us at 718-981-5505. Erin K. Colgan, Esq., is Staten Island’s leading divorce attorney and certified mediator.

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