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Can the process of divorce still proceed even with a PPO?

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2023 | Family Law |

Your relationship with your spouse has become untenable. The urge to divorce is strong, and there’s no turning back. In light of this, you’re now considering how a Permanent Protection Order (PPO) impacts this process. A PPO, which may already be familiar to you if one has been issued in your case for safety reasons, is a court directive prohibiting certain harmful behaviors. But how does it influence the early stages of your divorce?

Although you initially thought you couldn’t, the law is actually on your side. You can indeed file for divorce even with a PPO against your spouse. California is a no-fault state, so there’s no need to prove spousal wrongdoing to proceed with divorce; you just need to state that you have irreconcilable differences.

However, while filing may be straightforward, having a PPO could affect the process and outcome of your divorce in certain ways.

Serving papers may become a nuisance

When serving your spouse your petition for divorce, you must follow the rules of the PPO when filing and serving your divorce papers. You cannot personally serve your spouse with the divorce papers if there is a PPO that prohibits contact between you. In such cases, you’ll need to hire a professional process server or ask someone else who is over 18 years old and not involved in the case to do it for you.

You may need to inform the court about your PPO

After serving the divorce papers, the state requires you to update the court. When filing your divorce papers at your preferred court, you need to inform them that there is a PPO in place. Attach a copy of the PPO to your petition for dissolution of marriage and indicate the case number and date of issuance of the PPO. This helps the court coordinate your divorce case with the PPO case and avoid any conflicts or inconsistencies.

It’s important to seek guidance

Navigating a divorce with an abusive spouse and a PPO in place can quickly become overwhelming. Understanding how a protective order not only affects your divorce but also influences the court’s decisions on certain issues such as child custody can be challenging. That’s why it’s crucial to seek guidance during tough times like this.