How to Co-Parent with a No-Contact Order
In family law, a no-contact order prohibits a person from physically or verbally interacting with another person.
A no-contact order is slightly different from a restraining order in that a no-contact order is issued when some other legal action has already been filed against the defendant, such as a domestic abuse charge.
A restraining order can be issued even if no other formal charges have been filed against a defendant, sort of like a preventative measure. Restraining orders also are sometimes called protective orders.
Why Are No-Contact Orders Necessary?
A no-contact order is commonly issued in cases of domestic violence when one party does not feel safe in the other party’s presence.
A no-contact order will specify the terms about how many feet or yards away individuals must stay from one another and means of communication that are not allowed by the defendant, including telephone, text messages, emails, or social media contact.
Co-Parenting with a No-Contact Order
If the no-contact order is between you and your child’s other parent, it makes co-parenting extremely challenging.
Usually, however, the courts will specify ways in which the defendant can maintain contact regarding matters that concern the kids only.
One of the most common alternative means of communication is a service like Talking Parents. The courts will limit all communication concerning the shared children to occur within the Talking Parents service. The platform is secure and provides unalterable records of all communication between parents.
Another option is to use a third-party to gather information from both parents and work with you to make decisions about your child. This can be a significantly more costly option.
Usually, if there is a no-contact order in place, exchanging the children will occur in a neutral location, often with a third-party witness present.
Co-parenting with a no-contact order in place will require a very specific parenting plan
in place with the courts.
How Long Does a No-Contact Order Last?
A no-contact order is only temporary. A no-contact order is usually part of a pending criminal case against the defendant. A no-contact order expires when the sentencing period is finished in a criminal case, or if the case is dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty.
A no-contact order may be extended by the judge during the sentencing phase if the defendant is put on probation or parole. Violating a no-contact order can result in possible jail time, the payment of fines, or the loss of certain civil rights.
There are other options such as restraining orders and protective orders if you do not feel safe or if you do not think your children are safe in their co-parent’s presence. It’s critical that you consult with an experienced family law attorney in these types of high-conflict parenting situations.