Understanding Domestic Violence And Civil Protection Orders

The law does not really understand what goes on inside people's homes. But it provides remedies for unacceptable behavior. One of the most important of these is the legal remedy for domestic violence.

Under Ohio law, domestic violence occurs when a member of the family or household does one of three things:

  1. Knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical harm to another household member or household members
  2. Recklessly causes serious physical harm to others in the household
  3. Knowingly causes, by threat of force, a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to that family or household member

Who is a member of a family or household? It can be a spouse, former spouse, parent, stepparent, children, stepchildren or other relatives. It can include boyfriends, girlfriends and children of boyfriends or girlfriends, provided they have been part of the household in the past five years.

Domestic violence is serious business, sometimes triggered by drugs or alcohol. Charges arise from intense divorce and child custody struggles. Because the consequences are so harsh, domestic violence charges should not be used to gain advantage in legal battles. The state will come down hard on accused offenders, even when victims do not press charges.

About Civil Protection Orders

A civil protection order is a restraining order that prohibits someone — a spouse, family member or other member of your household — from having any contact with you following an incident or threat of domestic violence.

What Are The Implications Of A Civil Protection Order?

If a member of your household obtains a civil protection order (CPO) against you, the court can order you out of the residence and bar you from coming within 500 feet of the person who is protected by the order. If you are married and/or children are involved, the court may award temporary custody, child support and spousal support to the protected party and bar you from having any contact with the children. The court may also order you to turn over and bar you from possessing any firearms. Violation of any of the terms of the CPO may result in your immediate arrest.

While CPOs are sometimes necessary to protect a person from violence, other times false accusations are made to kick a spouse out of the house during a divorce action or to get the upper hand in a child custody dispute. For the person subject to a protection order, the effects can be devastating. You may be forced out of your home, your relationship with your children may be disrupted and even your job may be affected.

At the law firm of Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson in Columbus, Ohio, our lawyers represent men and women seeking civil protection orders against abusive spouses or family members, as well as men and women accused of domestic violence. We also defend people who face allegations of domestic violence.

At Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson, we represent family members seeking relief from any of the three kinds of domestic violence. Our attorneys' first concern is always family members' safety. Once the family is secured by a restraining order, we focus on creating a path away from this unfortunate incident.

Family law conducted respectfully — talk to the family lawyers at Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson of Columbus, Ohio. Contact us at 614-556-4231.