While many may not realize it, divorces and contested child custody disputes can bring out the worst in people at the most inopportune times. Not only can accusations of domestic violence can be troubling obstacles that can derail one’s chances of having a fair division of assets, they can also result in the denial of or regular, unsupervised parenting time while the case is pending.
While this may seem extreme and unfair (especially for the man accused of such behavior), family court judges are almost compelled to take hard lines and drastic actions against suspected abusers. After all, domestic violence is viewed as a dangerously unpredictable and unacceptable way for adults to conduct themselves. Additionally, given how pervasive domestic violence is in our society, and the potential for it to adversely affect children, family court judges take the imposition of protective orders very seriously.
Because of this, being served with a restraining order or “no-contact” order should not be taken lightly.
There may be a natural inclination for men served with temporary restraining orders to try to contact the victim in order to work things out. It may be especially tempting to do so if there is a suspicion that it was merely an overreaction to a benign situation, or because the reporting party has had some time to cool off and view things objectively.
While not to be construed as legal advice for your particular situation, contacting someone who has applied for (or has been granted) a restraining order is commonly a bad idea.
Violating a restraining order can expose you to criminal sanctions, even for a text message acknowledging a communication. Further, a domestic violence accusation could jeopardize your case even before family court proceedings begin. Simply put, you can’t begin to put a good face on before a family court judge if you are behind bars. Even if you are able to post bail after a restraining order violation arrest, you run the risk of the judge suspecting that you are not likely to follow a court order.
If you have been served with a restraining order or no-contact order and there is a pending custody matter, a call to an experienced family law attorney can help.