Some people make accusations of domestic abuse in an attempt to gain an advantage in divorce and custody matters. Doing so diminishes the plight of those who actually suffer from domestic violence and puts you in a precarious position legally.
Facing accusations of hurting someone you love, or once loved, adds other challenges to your divorce or custody battle. To make matters worse, while dealing with both the criminal charges and the family law issues, the issuance of a restraining order curtails your contact with the other party and possibly your children.
What does the restraining order prevent me from doing?
First, you need to know that violating a restraining order puts you in jeopardy of facing more charges in the criminal proceedings, so be sure to follow it until the situation resolves. Depending on the circumstances, these orders can include the following provisions:
- No contact with your spouse or other parent in any manner (no texting, calling or emailing, among other forms of contact).
- No contact with children or other family members listed in the order.
- Limited contact with your spouse in order to arrange time with the children.
- Maintain a certain distance from the home, work and school of the alleged victim.
- Move out of a shared residence.
- Pay the other party’s living expenses.
- Surrender firearms.
- Prevent the purchase of a firearm.
- Attend counseling.
The restraining order against you might contain some or all of these provisions.
Do not underestimate the seriousness of the charges
Even though you know that you did nothing wrong, you must take the charges against you seriously. Failing to address them could result in jail time and other criminal penalties, along with potential adverse consequences in your family law case. The implication of domestic abuse alone puts your case in jeopardy. This issue needs resolving as quickly as possible in order to keep that from happening.
Choosing an attorney who handles both family law and criminal matters provides you with the representation you need on both fronts. Furthermore, the disparate nature of the two proceedings means pulling you in two different directions. One attorney handling both sides of the issue helps ensure that your best interests receive the attention they deserve.