As a community, we want to protect victims of domestic abuse and children. Child protection and domestic violence services and investigations are rightly biased toward the goal of protecting vulnerable populations given the pervasiveness of domestic violence in the country.
However, at the same time, it is important to understand that this bias can be exploited resulting in one parent making unsubstantiated claims against another in a divorce in an attempt to gain custody of the children. This may take the shape of a temporary restraining order (TRO) you did not see coming. The first inkling you may have of a TRO is when you receive notice that it is has been granted.
If you receive a notice of TRO, the first steps are to notify your attorney. You will typically have an opportunity to answer and prepare for a hearing to tell your side of the story before a TRO is converted to a permanent restraining order so it is important to seek experienced legal representation.
Be sure to read the notice thoroughly so you do not violate any of its terms unintentionally. A protective order may forbid you to be within a certain distance of your spouse or children, including their home, work or schools. Any violation of the order could increase the chance that it will become permanent.
Although you may feel that you are being mischaracterized and resent your spouse’s actions, make sure you keep your cool. Angry outbursts directed at your spouse in person, over the phone or through text messaging can be used as evidence of aggressive or irrational behavior that may work against you in court.
Remember that a hearing for a temporary restraining order is a serious event and you should work with your attorney to represent your case. If have questions regarding an Illinois TRO or protective order, contact the Libertyville Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates for more information at 847-495-6000.