Kentucky has established laws that pertain directly to the issuance of protective orders. They typically are associated with divorce cases, but are not necessarily limited in that scope. Judges in Kentucky can issue a protective order for anyone who is having an issue with any particular individual who may be menacing them. However, merely stating to a law enforcement official that harassment is occurring is usually not sufficient for having an order put in place. The requesting party must go to court first and prove their request is valid because can also limit the defendant’s legal rights such as child visitation.
Protective orders typically require a particular person who has a history of aggressive action towards another individual to stay a standard distance away. This is usually a 500-foot restraint, but not always, and it is a standard initial domestic violence issuance. Most orders are for a set period of time, which means ongoing orders are relatively rare.
Divorce cases can sometimes be a basis for a continuing protective order, but they typically are assigned as temporary measures to allow a cooling-off period immediately following a separation. Aggressive actions are not necessary in a temporary order situation, but an order can still be requested when either party feels threatened. They are also often lifted when a divorce becomes final.
Child visitation orders are not necessarily related to divorce cases because all parents are not married to each other. Judges have the authority to issue supervised visitation in certain cases, but typically a visitation order with no violent history between the parents will result in an unsupervised arrangement as determined by the court regarding the safety of the child.
It is important to remember that each divorce or child visitation case is unique in some aspect, and the court has the authority to set the requirements of any restraining order or child visitation allowance. Biological parents do have visitation rights, and the state will recognize those rights except in extreme situations. Those who have been the subject of a purported protective order can also request for all restrictions to be lifted after a period of compliance.