Avoid Harassment During an Ohio Divorce or Dissolution with a Civil Protection Order

Among the most tumultuous of all human dilemmas is the separation from your spouse. Nobody of sound mind calculates that day ever coming.  After all, when a marriage occurs, the parties presumably knowingly and willingly vow to stay together for life. The reality of it is that divorce is at a higher rate in our population than ever before. When two people decide to get a divorce, they do so generally without knowing how the opposing spouse is going to handle the situation. There are usually factors such as children and real estate that are at issue, both of which, when contemplated being lost or modified, tend to illicit wildly uncharacteristic behavior from the parties involved in the divorce.

Most divorce and dissolution decrees have within them a provision in which parties agree that harassment is mutually prohibited. So too, do most temporary orders, that which are not yet final, during the litigation process. Here’s the problem with the non-harassment provision: The penalties for violating the court order are not immediate, nor are they punishable by criminal law.  As such, the consequences are invariably lenient, and as a result, not very dissuading to the offender of the order. In fact, the only consequence for violating a civil court order that prohibits mutual harassment is filing contempt proceedings within the court. Once contempt is filed, a hearing date is set, which may be a month or several months into the future. Where does this leave a party who feels that there is an immediate threat which could result in harm, or when they are being harassed by their spouse or ex-spouse?

All is not lost for you if your past or present spouse begins to harass or threaten you in any way. There is a remedy that does have criminal sanctions, which can be obtained – in addition to any anti harassment provision in a court order. The same courts that offer dissolutions and divorce as a remedy for separation also offer a device called a “Civil Protection Order.”

Civil Protection Orders are punishable by criminal prosecution, which in turn means that there are criminal penalties. Most times when they are violated there is an arrest of the offending party. The Ohio Supreme Court has laid it out succinctly by stating that “The preferred-arrest policy state that if a peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of a protection order has been committed and reasonable cause to believe that a particular person is guilty of committing the offense, “it is the preferred course of action in this state that the officer arrest and detain the person…until a warrant can be obtained.”

As mentioned above, orders in a decree can be slow and difficult to enforce. Contrarily, civil protection orders are very swift with immediate consequences. A temporary protection order can be obtained within one day of filing, and the perpetrator of your harassment will be placed on notice that he/she is subject to criminal charges along with arrest f the order is violated. Then within ten days, a hearing will be held and a judge will decide how long the order will be in effect, and whats its prohibitions will be.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of harassment or other domestic violence related behavior, Please contact the law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP by calling 1-800-297-9191 or send a Website Message.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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