During divorce cases, your ex's lawyer might suggest she file a phony allegation of abuse against you so that a temporary restraining order can be obtained. And while you're trying to figure out how to fight the restraining order, you can end up losing your job, your home, your car, and visitation rights to see your kids. You may even end up with an immutable criminal record if it's granted permanently. So it's no wonder that an increasing number of divorces involve such a sly (but profitable) little trick - the only problem, of course, is that the victim is YOU.
Every year, thousands of American fathers are fighting a restraining order that's been filed against them, but can't understand why the law allows such abuse of the legal system to take place - never mind what to do about it.
This article has been written to explain the reasons behind this widespread abuse of the restraining order process, and what you can do about it to defend yourself properly in court.
The single biggest factor that leads to women filing a restraining order against the father of her children during divorce, apart from the benefits of doing so, is that it's incredibly easy to do. In a lot of states, it just requires that she submits paperwork to a court and attends a short hearing. Then BAM, the named "abuser" has a temporary restraining order placed on him, and he gets served an invitation to attend court a month later to defend himself. In the meantime, his gun control rights have been withdrawn (so his job might be in danger), he's paying higher maintenance fees, and he can't see his kids - you couldn't imagine any more serious restrictions really. Some states have started to pioneer telephone filing of complaints - so she may not have to attend court at all to get an order granted.
Another element which encourages this situation is that the burden of proof is the lowest it can possibly be. In legal terms, "the burden of proof is by the preponderance of the evidence". In other words, the judge only needs to believe that it's likely that the plaintiff is telling the truth to grant the restraining order against you. No evidence or witnesses are needed - it's simply a case of your word against hers.
This is great if, say, a woman is a genuine victim of domestic violence and she fears for the lives of herself and her children. But when women use these options as sly divorce maneuvers, it causes unimaginable emotional cruelty to fathers, causes financial ruin, and deprives children of their parent.
And when those dads don't have any knowledge of the legal process, fathers are highly at risk of not being able to see their kids grow up, because that's how their false accuser wins. That's why education on how to defend yourself is the first step towards winning back custody of your children, and reclaiming your rights as a father.