An Order for Protection (OFP) is a tool that a person can use to protect themselves or their children against an abuser that they are related to, married to or were married to, live or have lived with, have a child with, or have a significant romantic relationship with.
Relief through an OFP
Through an OFP, the Court can grant the following relief:
- Restrain the abusing party from committing acts of domestic abuse
- Exclude the abusing party from the dwelling which the parties share or from the residence of the petitioner
- Exclude the abusing party from a reasonable area surrounding the dwelling or residence, which area shall be described specifically in the order
- Award temporary custody or establish temporary parenting time with regard to minor children of the parties on a basis which gives primary consideration to the safety of the victim and the children
An OFP is a serious and powerful document. It is meant to protect the alleged victim and/or their children. However, sometimes people misuse this process as a leg-up in the divorce or custody proceeding.
The Dangers of Lying
Embellishing, lying, or falsifying information in order to obtain an OFP is a big mistake. If there are untrue allegations in the OFP and the defendant (the alleged abuser) chooses to challenge these allegations, he or she may certainly do so. The Court will have a trial on the facts that the alleged victim outlines in his or her Petition to the Court.
Be very wary of using an OFP as a sword to gain advantage in any other court proceedings. If the Court determines that the claims are false and that the alleged victim is using an OFP improperly, then this may be addressed in the custody or divorce proceeding. The last thing you want to do in family law proceedings is damage your credibility.