In the state of Minnesota, if you are the victim of domestic abuse you may be able to obtain an Order for Protection. When an incident of violence occurs during the divorce process or even in a custody dispute once the papers have been filed, a victim is still able to use the court process and protections to obtain an OFP.
Effects of an OFP
An OFP can have additional effects other than just putting a no-contact provision in place. In reality, the OFP may end up resolving some collateral issues outside of just contact. For example, if both parties were residing together before the abuse, the OFP may award temporary occupancy of the home to one party, generally the victim of the abuse. This may have a longer-term effect on the other pending legal action if the home is to be awarded in the future.
Obtaining an OFP gives a party faster results than going through the regular court process, but it should not be abused by parties. Provisions determined in an OFP hearing may be later modified in the family law case that is pending. Also, the court is able to look at all circumstances surrounding the incident of abuse to determine if there really is a valid claim for protection or if the court believes the party is abusing the system to gain an advantage in thefamily court proceedings. Parties should not feel discouraged from bringing an OFP during a custody or divorce proceeding, but it should only be done when there has been a legitimate incident of abuse, or one party is in fear of the other and needs additional protection from the court that they cannot get through the divorce or custody action.