Our Blog Aims to Inform the Community Contact the Columbia Family Law Group with Any Questions You Might Have

Child Orders of Protection

A Child Order of Protection is similar to an Adult Order of Protection except that it is filed on behalf of the child, usually by a parent, to protect the child from physical, sexual or emotional abuse. There is no filing fee associated with a Child Order of Protection and you do not need to be a lawyer to go to the circuit clerk's office and file a Child Order of Protection.

However, be aware that if there is a prior custody order then, legally, the court is without jurisdiction to enter a child protection order against the other parent. A prior custody order may be a custody order entered in a prior divorce, paternity, or custody modification action. Also keep in mind that if there is a divorce, paternity, or other custody action pending that the court has discretion to not enter a Child Order of Protection and/or to refer the matter to the judge hearing the pending action for a decision.

Once a Child Order of Protection is filed the Court appoints a Guardian ad Litem to do an investigation and make a recommendation regarding whether or not a full Child Order of Protection should be entered. A hearing is set on whether to enter a full order of protection. If the person who filed the Child Order of Protection can prove the allegations of abuse of a child by a preponderance of the evidence then the court may issue a full order of protection for at least 180 days and not more than one year. If a full order is entered, the person who is found to have abused the child must stay away from the child, not threaten or disturb the peace of the child and not have any contact with the child. If you are considering filing a Child Order of Protection you should contact an experienced family law attorney regarding your options.