Regardless of the specific circumstances, going through divorce is a difficult ordeal. This becomes even more complicated when child custody in New York is involved, and sadly, this is only worsened when there's a protective order in place. If you're going through a divorce involving a protective order, there are a few things to understand during a custody dispute.
Protective Orders Don't Need to Be Preexisting
A protective order doesn't need to be in place before custody proceedings in New York begin. Under the Family Court Act, a temporary restraining order can be issued against a parent. In these cases, "temporary" has no defined limit. The order can last just as long as the custody proceedings.
A protective order can be issued to keep a parent away from a child or their former spouse. If the court orders an individual to stay away from their child, it's because a judge decided it was in the young one's best interest.
Reconciliation Doesn't End an Order
All too often, divorce proceedings and custody cases end with reconciliation. If a protective order is in place, however, reconciliation doesn't immediately end the order. If police discover that an individual is violating an order of protection, an arrest can take place regardless of whether the meeting was consensual.
If this occurs, the alleged violator of the order can be charged with criminal contempt and other crimes. In essence, if two individuals decide to reconcile, they need to go through the process of lifting the order of protection before visiting with each other or the child.
Violating Protective Orders Can Hurt Custody Chances
Regardless of whether violation of a protective order was due to temporary reconciliation, such an act can hurt a parent's chances during a custody case. When deciding custody or visitation, courts will look at all related factors - including criminal charges.
If charged with criminal contempt - the least of the charges that can accompany a protective order violation - an individual could end up with a misdemeanor and face jail time. Judges will consider this when deciding custody and visitation issues, and a single mistake can result in a negative outcome for the charged parent.
Speak to a New York Family Lawyer
Regardless of how you think a situation will unfold, violating a protective order can ruin your chances during a custody case. Take the time to speak with a legal professional to ensure a fair shot during your custody case.
The attorneys at EA lawyers are experienced in custody cases and other family law. To discuss your options, contact EA lawyers at (716) 652-0828.