Sometimes, domestic violence is an unfortunate part of a family case. Under Oregon law, if a family or household member has been a victim of abuse, that person can petition the court for a Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining order. “Abuse” is broadly defined to include actions causing or attempting to cause bodily injury and intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly placing a person in fear of imminent bodily injury.
The purpose of a FAPA Order is to help keep the victim of abuse safe. The court has authority to include a number of provisions to reach that goal, including an order prohibiting the person who committed the abuse from contacting the victim of the abuse in any manner. A FAPA Order can also include an award of custody, parenting time, exclusive use of the family residence, and, in limited circumstances, short-term financial relief.
If you have been the victim of abuse, you can petition the court for a FAPA Order. This is something most people can do on their own or with the assistance of the victim’s advocate, who is available to assist abuse victims in each of our local circuit courts. Peter can assist you in assist you in assessing the merits of your claim, and in completing a FAPA petition. He can also represent you at court hearings to establish or maintain the FAPA Order.
The person against whom the FAPA Order was obtained may request a hearing to contest all or part of the Order. If that happens, the person who obtained the order must show the court that abuse occurred within 180 days from the date of the petition, and that there is an immediate risk of further abuse unless the Order stays in place.
Sometimes, a spouse or partner may seek to use the FAPA statutes in an attempt to gain an advantage in a divorce proceeding. If that happens, Peter can assist you in assessing whether you have good grounds to contest the FAPA Order. Peter is a strong and experienced advocate if you chose to contest the FAPA Order.
If the FAPA Order has provisions that impact children, and if a divorce is filed at or around the same time as the court entered the FAPA Order, it is common practice to “consolidate” the divorce proceeding and the FAPA proceeding, so that there are not conflicting court orders regarding the parties’ children.
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