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What You Need To Know About Child Protective Disorders?

When a child is in imminent danger, the court may issue an ex-parte child protective order, i.e. without the appearance of the respondent. Ex-parte child protective orders are issued for immediate protection and require a hearing to be set within 20 days. At the hearing, the court may decide to extend the ex-parte order or actually issue a full child protective order. Child protective orders are typically filed in juvenile court but can be transferred to district court if there is a related custody or paternity case in district court.

In order to obtain a child protective order, you must prove one of these things:

  • either physical abuse or
  • sexual abuse or
  • imminent threat thereof
  • failure to protect a child from a dangerous person

The following provisions of Utah Code Annotated (aka UCA) provide details on child protective orders:

UCA § 78B-7-202:

  • 1. Under Utah law, any interested person may file a petition for a protective order on behalf of a child who is being abused or who is an imminent danger of being abused. The petitioner shall first make a referral to DCFS.
  • 3. Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall immediately determine, based on the evidence and information presented, whether the minor is being abused or is in imminent danger of being abused. If so, the court shall enter an ex parte child protective order.

UCA § 78B-7-204:

  • 1. A child protective order or an ex parte child protective order may contain the following provisions the violations of which is a class A misdemeanor under § 77-36-2.4:
  • (a) Prevent the respondent from threatening to commit or committing abuse of the minor;
  • (b) prohibit the respondent from harassing, telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the minor, directly or indirectly;
  • (c) prohibit the respondent from entering or remaining upon the residence, school, or place of employment of the minor and the premises of any of these are any specified place frequented by the minor;
  • (d) upon finding that the respondent’s use or possession of a weapon may pose a serious threat of harm to the minor, prohibit the respondent from purchasing, using, or possessing a firearm or other specified weapons; and
  • (e) determine ownership and possession of personal property and direct the appropriate law enforcement officer to attend and supervise the petitioners or respondent’s removal of personal property.
  • 2. A child protective order or an ex parte may contain the following provisions the violation of which is contempt of court:
  • (a) Determine temporary custody of the minor who is the subject of the petition;
  • (b) determine parent time with a minor who is the subject of the petition, including denial of parent time if necessary to protect the safety of the minor, and require supervision of parent time;
  • (c) determine support in accordance with 78B-12; and order any further relief the court considers necessary to provide for the safety and welfare of the minor.

As part of child protective orders, the court can award custody and child support.

Protective order attorney Kelly Peterson can help you obtain or defend against a child protective order. Kelly Peterson can review the specifics of your case and help you determine whether a child protective order makes sense for you. Protective order lawyer Kelly Peterson can also help ensure the interests of your children are protected during these proceedings.

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*Child Welfare Law Specialist Nat’l Assoc. of Counsel for Children