So fathers should just hire a lawyer to defend them on a minimal basis, and get the ordeal over and done with as quickly as possible, right..?
Where my colleague went wrong, though, is that his opinion is all based in theory. I’ve been there for real, and I know that my experience of fighting a restraining order during a divorce case in order to win a custody battle should not be written off.
It’s tough work; if you choose to employ a lawyer, you’ll need both the finance and the know-how to employ a good one. It took me three years, and two lawyers, and several thousand in court fees. But the honest answer to the question of “when not to fight a restraining order” is – absolutely never. You should always put up a fight.
Just remember these three important facts about the situation and you’re already onto a winning case, because knowledge is power:
Fact #1 – You need to do it for yourself, too. You’re not just fighting a restraining order for your kids – the National Crime Information Center registry (NCIC) entry against your name often causes massive problems at customs. It will also show up on any potential employer’s criminal record background check – it’s pretty normal to get job interview offers declined because the restraining order marker against your name has been flagged up.
You only get to see your kids grow up once, so it’s understandable that you focus on them as a priority, but you need to get the restraining order rescinded for your own sake too.Fact #2 – The burden of proof is against you in court. When your ex files a phony restraining order, she relies on you failing to gather evidence or argue your case – if you don’t fight back using phone records, diaries, witnesses, store receipts, email records… whatever it takes… you let her win by default. And since judges operate on a “err on the side of caution” basis, if he or she doesn’t hear your side of the story there is zero chance they’re going to dismiss the case.
Basically, the burden of proof in restraining order cases is so low as to be non-existent, and you won’t find any of the “beyond reasonable doubt” stuff required by criminal courts.
Fact #3 – But you can win! Literally thousands of American dads are winning their custody cases every week, with any phony abuse allegations thrown out of court – you can be one of them, and you don’t need a law degree or a lawyer being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do it.