Divorce and Temporary Protection Order (TPO's)

A court has the power to issue a TPO (temporary protection order) to protect individuals from being harassed and stalked. In a divorce proceeding, the court may also grant a TPO to a spouse, husband or wife, if the spouse has been subject to instances of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is not simply defined by physical violence towards a spouse or child. It takes many different forms. In Nevada, the law provides that a court may issue a TPO on a current or former spouse if it finds evidence of:

Sexual violence
Child abuse
Harassment
Physical violence
Threats of physical violence
Coercion

There are several TPO’s that a court may issue. First, you can apply for an emergency protection order. This application must be made while your spouse is still in police custody after being arrested for a domestic violence incident and is effective for 7 days. A temporary protection order may also be requested regardless of whether there is an arrest and is effective for 30 days. Finally, you can apply for an extended protection order, which can last for up to one year. If you apply for an extended order, a hearing will be scheduled. Your spouse must be notified and has the right to attend the hearing. It is also absolutely necessary that you attend the hearing or the TPO will be dismissed.

A judge can rule on a number of issues when granting a TPO. Your spouse can be ordered to stay away from your home, place of work, or your child’s school or daycare, or any other relevant place. Your spouse can also be ordered not to contact you in the form of phone calls, through a third party such as friends or family, and email. Your spouse can be prevented from destroying your property, assaulting you or your children, and harassing you in any way. The judge may also order your spouse to leave the marital home, assign control of bank accounts and other items that you share, as well as temporary child custody.

Every situation is different and if you are unsure of whether you are entitled to a TPO you can contact the Family Violence Intervention Program located in the Clark County Family Court. Applications are free and advocates are there to assist you. They cannot provide legal advice, but they can help you with the application process.

A temporary protection order is designed to protect individuals from domestic violence before, during, and after a divorce and these matters are taken very seriously. The court will not tolerate false or exaggerated accusations of domestic violence in order to gain some sort of advantage in a divorce or custody battle. If you are in need of a TPO, or you have had a TPO wrongfully issued against you, it may be in your best interest to consult a Las Vegas divorce attorney experienced in these legal matters to protect you rights.