Father's Day is more than a day to honor dads. It's an opportunity for fathers to strengthen their bond with their children. Having a father figure is essential to healthy child development and should be honored by co-parents even if the parents aren't living together. But if a co-parent has a protective order against dad, it can make celebrating Father's Day challenging.
What is a Protection Order?
A protection order also referred to as a restraining order in New Jersey, is issued by a judge to protect victims of domestic violence (plaintiffs) against their abuser (defendants). They are often used to protect a battered spouse or victim of domestic violence. Those who can file a PFA include:
- A spouse
- An ex-spouse
- A present or former household member
- Parents of a shared child
- Those currently in or who have been in an intimate or sexual relationship
Protective orders prohibit a defendant from getting within a certain distance of the plaintiff for a specific period of time. The order may also include other restrictions, such as:
- Prohibit the defendant from contacting the plaintiff
- Prevent the defendant from entering the plaintiff's home, school, job
Protective orders are in effect until the next court hearing, such as a domestic violence arraignment. At these hearings, the overseeing judge may make the order permanent.
The overseeing judge may also prohibit custody or visitation between the defendant and their children if the judge believes it is in the children's best interest. If a family law court has already put custody mandates in place, the judge's protection order will supersede the family court's order.
How to Safely Celebrate Father's Day With a PFA
Unless the protective order prohibits the father from having contact with his children, both parents should honor the arrangement, especially on Father's Day. However, some extra measures may be needed not to violate the no-contact or premises requirements of the protective order. For example, if the order prohibits the father from entering the family home, the parents should choose a neutral location for child drop-offs and pickups.
It's important to remember that the courts use protective orders to protect victims of domestic violence, whether they are the parents or the children. Violating the terms of the order is considered a crime and may result in arrest and potential jail time for the defendant.
Navigating PFAs During Father's Day
Protective orders provide legal protection against victims of domestic violence. But these orders can make holidays like Father's Day challenging for the entire family. If you or a loved one is involved in matters of Family Law in New Jersey, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Family Law Team at (888)535-3686 or online today.