A Protective Order Is Not a Custody Order
Video Transcribed: What you need to know about using a protective order for child custody matters. Hi, my name is Ryan Cannonie and I’m an attorney in Tahlequah, and one thing we see a lot is when we have children involved and there are custody issues going on, sometimes one of the parents will run out and get a protective order against the other parent and get the court to put the children on that protective order.
Now, a lot of judges won’t do this and honestly, before COVID, we didn’t see this as often as, in my experience, we’re seeing it right now, which I don’t know the reason for that. But back before, COVID a lot of judges would say, “I’m not using this as custody.”
But recently, and I have several cases right now, and I’m getting lots of calls about this, where one parent goes out and gets a court to sign an emergency custody order. Now emergency custody, you don’t have to be there for the other person to get it.
They just go up to the court. They say, “Hey, my kids are in danger. Here’s why they’re in danger.” Or actually, it’s not so much the kids, them and their kids, or just them, are in danger and if the court feels that they’re telling the truth, they will grant this emergency custody order to them and to their kids, or to them on behalf of their kids.
Any of those situations could end up with you having now a protective order against you having contact with your children. But the problem is a protective order is not a custody order. So what we start seeing in these, and when people come to me on these cases, we have a protective order in place, but really custody is still with the other parent.
So the parent with the protective order can’t do the things necessary for custody. Let’s say that they need to enroll them in school. Well, they’re not the custodial parent. There’s leaving the state, things like that. They are still not the custodial parent in these situations.
So what you really need to do is do an emergency custody order and a lot of these people who come to me, I say, “Okay, stop. Before we go any further, we’re doing an emergency custody order so that you not only have a protective order, you also have emergency custody of the children to give you the authority as their custodian to do what you need to.”
A lot of people don’t realize that and so that leaves them kind of in this no man’s land of, “Well, the other parent can’t be around the kids, but I don’t actually have custody.” If you find yourself in this situation, if you find yourself on the opposite side of this situation too, then please give us a call.