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Restraining orders as weapons in child custody battles

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2022 | Family Law |

Divorce can be emotionally grueling, even when spouses agree to remain amicable. Unfortunately, an acrimonious divorce can exacerbate the stress you and your children experience, especially when your spouse attempts to undermine you as a parent.

You may face additional challenges if your spouse uses a restraining order against you to gain custody of your children.

What is a temporary restraining order?

A temporary restraining order prohibits you from coming in contact with your spouse and children for up to two weeks and can lead to permanent restrictions. Unfortunately, a temporary restraining order goes into effect without warning or your court appearance.

What happens when a temporary restraining order expires?

The next phase of the process requires you to appear in court for an injunction hearing, where you will have an opportunity to explain why the restraining order is without merit, and your spouse will make a case for extending it. If you are unsuccessful, the judge may replace the temporary order with a permanent one, lasting between two and 10 years.

How can you fight a restraining order?

During the hearing, your spouse will present evidence supporting a permanent restraining order, and you will present evidence disproving the allegations against you. However, if unsuccessful, you may permanently lose custody of your children, and your name may appear on the National Domestic Violence Registry. Therefore you must strategize using irrefutable evidence, including testimony from friends placing you elsewhere during the alleged incidents and copies of phone messages and emails containing your spouse’s threats.

A contentious relationship with your spouse could make you the target of unscrupulous tactics that unfairly impact your child custody rights.

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