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How do I file a court order to keep someone away from my child?

Portland, OR |

While there has been no abuse to my child, I am concerned about the mental health status of a person who wishes to be in my child's life. I have been told of this person's mental history by her child and I would like get an order from the court stating this person cannot be around my child until their mental health is evaluated. How do I go about doing this during a divorce proceeding?

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Attorney answers 3


If this person is not the child's other parent, then you can ask the Court at the trial (or at a hearing for temporary custody) to include a term in any custody and parenting time plan to limit the child's contact with this person. This term would apply to the other parent's time spent with the child.

If this person is not seeing the child during the other parent's parenting time, but is instead encountering them at school or some other 'neutral' public location, then it's a lot harder, and not a proper subject for the divorce at all. The divorce case is a suit between you and your spouse; you can't do anything in it that restricts the rights of third parties. You'd need to sue this person themselves, in a restraining order proceeding. In order to get a restraining order, you'd need to demonstrate that this person has repeatedly engaged in conduct that objectively makes you afraid for your own safety, or a child's safety. Merely having mental health problems, without more, does not count. Lots of people have mental health troubles of one sort or another, and they're not all prohibited from having contact with all minors ever.

If this person IS the child's other parent, then it's a lot harder. You'd have to demonstrate that they presented a risk of serious harm to the child, to deny them any contact at all. Even then, they'd likely get some contact, supervised by someone.

Nothing posted on this site is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: | Online:



This person's mental health problems involve suicide attempts and I am worried what kind of damage that could do.


It would help to know the relationship of the person to your child.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.



It is a grandparent of my child that has no former relationship with my child but is trying to establish one through my spouse.

John E. Schlosser

John E. Schlosser


You raise the issue with the court when determining your parenting plan. For example request that the judge order your ex to not have the children around the grandparent without supervision or until an evaluation is performed and presented to the court. However, be aware that the court may require more than just your word for it. It would be best, if you think your ex will contest this restriction, to get legal representation.


Mr. Bodzin and Mr Schlosser are both right. We need more info to comment further.

The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.

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