Our top priority in this time of uncertainty is protecting the health and safety of our employees, clients, friends and families. Our office will remain open, but we are primarily working remotely. Essential personnel are in the building, but in their own isolated suites. We believe it is prudent to limit in-person meetings and settlement conferences during this time. Currently, the best way to communicate with us is through emails and telephone calls. Be assured that our technology allows us to provide the same seamless service you would have if everyone were here in person. If an in-person meeting is required, we are strictly adhering to CDC Guidelines. We are posting regular updates on how COVID-19 affects family law issues on our blog and our Facebook page.

The McCarthy Law Firm, PLLC

Turning Stress Into Solutions™

Protective Orders

What is a Protective Order & What Can It Do?

Also known as an order of protection or a restraining order, a protective order is court-issued. It is a very powerful tool for situations where you face violence or the threat of violence. A protective order:

  • Forbids a person from having any form of contact with you
  • Can limit how close they can get to you (spatial proximity)
  • Can have a person removed from your home or work place

A protective order or restraining order can’t apply to random people. It only applies when you have a relationship with another person: current or former spouse, roommate or personal partner, relative or someone with whom you have a child.

You may have heard of another form of protection, which is called an Injunction Against Harassment. That’s an order that comes into play when the persons you need protection from are unrelated, like neighbors, co-workers or acquaintances.

spousal maintenance

What does it take to get a protective order?

Getting started is as straightforward as visiting your county’s Clerk of the Court. For instance, in Pima County, you go to the window adjacent to the Clerk’s office – it deals exclusively with protective orders. The form they give you, called a petition, needs to be signed. Be prepared to go before a judge, be sworn in and give testimony about why you need a protective order.

Tips for Testimony

  • Identify specific events on the petition. Ask for additional pages if needed.
  • If there’s actual evidence related to the events, be prepared to provide it to help defend the order if it’s challenged.
  • Be thorough in your petition and testimony. If the order is challenged, you’re limited to the events listed in the petition for the order.

The sheriff’s office serves notice to the person and gives you a notice that they’ve been served. You’ll also have a copy of the Protective Order to give to your local police department. If you happen to run into the person before they’ve been served, call the police to have the person served.

Using or applying the protective order

If the person or persons you have the protective order against tries to contact you or violates any of the provisions in the order, notify law enforcement. They can’t enforce the order if you don’t – and don’t delay your report!

For more information on protective orders or if you believe you need one during your divorce process, talk to your attorney at The McCarthy Law Firm to be sure everything is covered correctly.