When people talk about Personal Protective Orders, they tend to think in terms of the abuser, and the victim. But they don’t often consider how that process affects the children – and it does! Children, who rarely have any control over their situations in life, are directly impacted by the choices their parents make. Whether it’s the effect the violence and abuse has on their lives, or the effect of losing a parent to police custody and court orders, there are consequences. We’d like to look into what that involves for you, and provide a few thinking points as you consider your options.
Domestic violence has a huge effect on children!
If you’re in an abusive relationship, even if your children aren’t the victims of the violence themselves, they’re still directly affected by the abuse. Children who grow up in an abusive home (even if the abuse happens behind closed doors) are statistically more prone to suffer from depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety. They’re also more likely to engage in risky behaviors as they get older, like using drugs and having unprotected sex.
So if your spouse is physically, verbally or psychologically abusive towards you, then getting a PPO will not only reduce your chances of being harmed, but it protects your children. In this case, while the abuse has most likely already negatively impacted their lives, your children will be better off if you can get them out of an abusive home and into therapy to help them adjust and learn to process their feelings.
Revenge PPOs rob kids of their parents.
But not everyone who claims to be a victim of abuse actually is. Over the years we’ve encountered many people whose exes have made claims of being abused in the hopes of getting full custody, or simply gaining sympathy. In those cases, because spouses aren’t allowed to see each other or be in the same place at the same time when there’s a PPO in effect, kids sometimes end up spending less time with the parent accused of abuse.
In some cases, where the claims of abuse are severe, the falsely accused parent loses all access to their children. For children, this means the relationship they have with the accused parent is damaged because months can go by with no contact, which is very hard. Kids love their parents, and to lose access because of false allegations is heartbreaking and confusing for them. (But remember – judges are becoming more aware of ‘revenge’ PPOs and the consequences are severe!)
Children’s emotional needs are very important!
Children need their parents. They need to be loved and cared for and guided by both parents, if that’s possible. While sometimes PPOs are very necessary to keep you and your children safe, they are sometimes abused by those who think they can “work” the system. As family law attorneys we encourage all of our clients to make parenting decisions with their child’s best interests in mind, because that’s what the court uses as a guide. And family court judges don’t look kindly on parents who use their children as pawns to achieve their own ends!
If you’re considering a divorce, are having problems with your spouse, or don’t feel safe in your marriage and need to get out, we can help you. At The Kronzek Firm, our skilled family law attorneys can help you figure out your custody concerns, deal with personal protective orders, and work to protect your children’s best interests during a divorce. Call 866 766 5245 today and get the right help for your family.