How can you win child custody during a divorce if your spouse puts a restraining order against you, based solely on verbal testimony and not pertaining to the children themselves?
1. The odds are against you, even if you are innocent. It doesn’t matter if you are innocent if the court believes the false allegations against you (and you’d be amazed how willing courts are to believe a good (even a bad) sob story, especially one coming from a woman against a man).
a. If the court believes the false allegations against you, despite the preponderance of evidence against those false allegations, you may have the option of filing an appeal, but most people don’t appeal because the odds are against you winning on appeal, and appeals are too costly and discouraging for most people.
2. The best way I know to get a wrongfully issued restraining order dismissed or reversed is to prove that it was wrongfully issued. And how do you do that?
a. By providing—as early in the process as possible—evidence to the court that:
i. that you have an alibi;
ii. your spouse is lying;
iii. that your history and good character simply make your spouse’s claims unbelievable.
b. by getting a lawyer (and cooperating fully with that lawyer) who knows the legal system and how to work it (ethically) to your advantage.
c. You will surely be tempted to fight fire with fire and resort to lying and cheating to be vindicated. Don’t. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and if that’s not reason enough for you, lying and cheating in your defense usually backfire. If you have children, getting down into the muck will do them irreparable damage.
3. The next best way to get rid of a restraining order: be penitent (even if you’re not guilty). This is a hard pill to swallow (as well it should be), but it may be your only viable option, if you value getting rid of the protective order over your pride. Don’t get me wrong: it’s unfair for innocent people to have to grovel and suffer the indignity, and many may interpret your groveling as an “admission” of guilt, but it may be the only way out. So what might this entail?:
a. jump—cheerfully and timely—through all the hoops the court sets in your path toward getting the restraining order lifted;
b. go to counseling or therapy and complete courses and read books (and report on reading them) that teach “parenting skills” and “anger management” and “conflict resolution”;
c. go to church. You should do this anyway. A good church does wonders for cheering you up and encouraging you and showing you how to be a better person (no matter how great you may be already), but if the only reason you go is to show the court that you’re a “changed man/woman,” so be it.
4. Even in the face of this injustice, count your many, many other blessings. Don’t let evil win by losing hope. Keep the faith. If you are going through hell, keep going. Lean on your friends and loved ones for support.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277