When a father is trying to figure out how to fight a restraining order as part of the divorce process, he often receives advice from the people around him. His parents, friends, colleagues – plus his lawyer if he’s chosen to hire one to represent him in court whilst fighting a restraining order.
The problem is that a lot of advice is given which isn’t easy or practical to follow. This article has been written for fathers who are trying to figure out how to fight a restraining order, to give them a really good tip which helped me immensely during my divorce (before I won custody of my two sons). I just wish I’d been told about this earlier. The tip is this:
Keep a journal, or two – perhaps for the first time in your life.
If you’re wondering why on earth a couple of journals might help you on your struggle to fight a restraining order, I’ll explain.
Firstly, Journal #1 is a practical thing. And it’s the most important one. In it, you need to record every thought, movement, communication and action that has any bearing on your divorce case and/or the restraining/protection order, along with any paperwork. Examples of the types of things I’m talking about are:
Dates, times of your daily activities
The names and places where you met anyone or talked to
Journal #1 should remain factual, accurate, and very brief (just a 5 minute summary before you got to bed each night is enough). This can be a crucial piece of evidence which can help you during your defense in court, because it’s unlikely that your ex will be organised or smart enough to realise what you’re doing.
In my own case, I was able to figure out how to fight a restraining order not through my lawyer (who I ended up firing due to a mix of incompetence and lack of funds), but based on evidence supplied via my own journals, and admitted into the courtroom. For example, a store receipt from two towns over proved that the temporary (ex parte) restraining order violation I was accused of at my ex’s home never took place. I was able to pinpoint the time and date I’d been in the store, so camera records could be requested!
If I’d not kept that receipt, fighting a restraining order would have been much harder.
The second journal you should keep is a private record of your own thoughts on how to fight a restraining order, or your frustration at the divorce or custody case. This is just meant to help you feel less angry (even though it’s entirely justified to feel like that). Just make sure that you put these words at the start of every entry in Journal #2 so that it can’t be subpoenaed as evidence against you if your ex ever gets hold of it:
“To My Attorney, [his or her name]”
I hope the above information has been useful – too many fathers are having to fight a restraining order during custody/divorce cases these days, and I want to spread the word that it IS possible to win 100% custody of your children, if only you make the right moves for them.