Modification Frequently Asked Questions: Modifying Restraining Orders



  1. Can the terms of a permanent restraining order be modified?

    The answer to this question is “yes.” However, the standards and circumstances differ depending on whether the protected or restrained person is the one seeking the modification. Our firm takes each restraining order case very seriously, whether on its own, or in a Denver custody or divorce case. There is no greater area of concern than your personal safety and that of your children. Courts take this view as well. As such, the standards for modification of a protection order are more rigorous that those related to other aspects of the law.

    Pursuant to C.R.S. 13-14-102 (17.5)(a), Colorado restraining orders can be modified essentially any time by the protected party. However, the restrained party is limited to seeking a modification of the terms either four years after the order was originally entered, or four years after the last request to modify was ruled on. This can include provisions regarding protection of the parties’ children. Once permanent provisions are entered protecting a child, the restrained parent is divested of the normal modification procedures set forth in the domestic relations statutes and will have to wait at least four years to seek changes. When looking at modification of a restraining order, a court will look at certain factors, including:

    • Whether the restrained person has complied with the original order
    • Whether the restrained person has voluntarily engaged in domestic violence or anger management classes
    • The length of time since the original restraining order was issued
    • Changes in location or proximity of the parties
    • Whether the restrained party has been convicted of any new crimes of violence
    • Whether there have been any new restraining orders issued against the restrained person

    Of course, the concerns of the protected person will also be a factor and she, or he, will have the chance to respond to any motion to modify. The standards for modifying a restraining order are heightened due to the stakes being high and safety being a true issue.
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