Child abuse is a serious problem around the nation. According to the National Children’s Alliance, about 700,000 children are abused annually, though many more will be abused at least once during their childhood. Abuse can take many forms, including physical or sexual abuse, or emotional terrorism.
If you are in an abusive marriage, your spouse might also be abusing your children. You have options for protecting both yourselves and your children, but you need to take the proper steps. If you are asking yourself “what to do if my child is being abused by my spouse in Colorado,” we are prepared to assist you immediately.
What is a Protection Order?
This is a court order instructing your spouse to do (or refrain from doing) certain things:
- Move out of the home
- Limit or prohibit contact with you and the children
- Not come within a certain distance of you and the children, including the children’s school
- Not possess a firearm
If your spouse violates the order, the police will pick them up and take them to jail. A judge can also impose other penalties. Under CRS 18-6-803.5, violating a protection order is a misdemeanor offense and carries penalties of up to $5,000 in fines and up to 18 months in jail. A repeat offender faces even more serious consequences.
How Do You Obtain a Protection Order?
C.R.S. § 13-14-103 states that you can get an emergency protection order from a county or district court. When a minor is being abused, you can get the emergency protection order from either the juvenile or district court. Local law enforcement can also request an emergency protection order. This might happen if you call the police during a violent episode.
The court should have standardized forms that you fill out to request a protection order. The clerk should be able to help you find the form you need. However, you can also work with an attorney, which can make things much easier. If you are being abused, remember to get a protection order for yourself in addition to the children.
An emergency order is only good for a limited amount of time. Your spouse will have a chance to object to the protection order at a hearing before a judge issues a permanent protection order. At the hearing, you will need to present evidence of the abuse, such as witness testimony and medical or police records. An emergency order is often a vital first step since it can be issued immediately and provides peace of mind.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
A lawyer can make sure that you file your protection order properly. Many abused spouses also request a protection order when they have finally made the courageous choice to end their marriage. Because you might fear your spouse retaliating, you should make sure you have all of your ducks in a row and get a protection order for you and your children.
Divorce Matters can help. We are a Denver law firm specializing in divorce and family law with years of experience obtaining protection orders for our clients. Please contact us today.