The Paulding County Superior Court denied a defendant’s request to set aside a protective order that his wife had issued against him, claiming that the order prevented him from visiting his four children. The trial court also refused to modify the order so that, in accordance with his already established visitation rights, he could see his children, prompting the defendant to appeal.
Georgia’s Court of Appeals reviewed his case, noting that the trial court was correct in refusing to set aside the protective order. The Court did, however, determine that the trial court incorrectly denied the defendant’s request to modify the protective order. It explained that “the trial court lacked the authority to enter a protective order that permanently enjoined [the defendant] from having any contact with his children.” Trial courts have the authority to alter protective orders, but they may not make permanent changes to custody and visitation rights.
The Appeals Court sided with trial court in not setting aside the order but disagreed with the trial court’s refusal to modify the order so that the defendant could visit his children.