Unfortunately, as restraining orders can be requested with little proof, they can be used as a punitive measure in family law cases. Having a restraining order issued on you with regard to a child can be limiting in a number of regards, including obtaining a working-with-children check, which can limit you both from paid work and voluntary work with your children's schools or in the wider school community. Additionally, restraining orders can be used to try and limit unsupervised access to your children if you are in a custody case.
As a consequence it is wise to dispute any unjustified restraining orders.
- The first step is to accept the restraining order from the police. While you may be shocked, remain calm and polite as any aggression towards the police is unwarranted; they are simply the messenger in this case.
- Obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. Meet with your legal counsel and communicate your intention to argue the case and present any information you have of the positive relationship that you have with your child, including references from daycare provider, school teachers or religious leaders.
- If the child or your former spouse has testified in court before you were notified, obtain transcripts so that you can provide direct evidence to contradict false allegations, looking particularly for times and dates of alleged occurrences.
- Ask your family lawyers, where possible, to negotiate with the other party out of court. As court can be an extremely stressful situation for you and your child, it is more healthy for your ongoing relationship with your child to prevent them testifying against you in court.
- If precourt negotiations fail, ensure that your legal counsel appears in court on the relevant date. In many cases, the requesting party does not appear to follow up the request when they are not being entirely accurate, and the judge will dismiss the request.
- Your legal counsel may recommend that you request a restraining order against your spouse if they have a history of threatening behaviour. Ensure that any actions you pursue are part of a larger legal plan to resolve your family law case as smoothly as possible.
Obtaining experienced legal counsel will ensure that your family law case is resolved as quickly and smoothly as possible. Legal counsel is important not only in defending cases in court, but also for mediating your case out of court and avoiding undue conflict with your child.
For more information, contact a practice such as Crawford Ryan Lawyers Pty Ltd