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How to File a Child Order of Protection in Missouri

If your child has been physically or emotionally abused, most often by a stepparent or significant other then you should consider filing a child order of protection on behalf of the child. This will restrain that stepparent or significant other from having any contact with the child. If they do, it is considered a crime and that person can be criminally charged.

We most often see child orders of protection filed when a stepparent has inappropriately disciplined a child or placed a child in serious threat of imminent harm. Oftentimes, the Missouri Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services is investigating, and they advise you to file the child order of protection while they conduct their investigation.

You can file a child order of protection for free with the local circuit clerk’s office. Once you file the child order of protection (which you can complete by hand) then the court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem to investigate the allegations made. A hearing will be set within 14 days.

At the hearing, the stepparent can consent to the order of protection for 365 days without admitting that any abuse occurred. The stepparent or significant other can also request a hearing on whether the allegations in the petition are true. The court only must find by a preponderance of the evidence that the evidence is true in order to grant the child order of protection.

Child orders of protection are important because when children have been abused or their physical safety threatened, we can keep them safe. If you have questions about Missouri child orders of protection, please contact us because we can help.