As a father and husband in Washington, you likely find it impossible to ever consider hitting your wife or children. Sadly, many a good man like you has been accused of domestic violence during a divorce and lost access to his children because of a restraining order. Sometimes all it takes is a loud argument overheard by the neighbors to start a chain reaction resulting in the court ordering you to stay away from your kids.
Civil courts in Washington have the power to grant Orders of Protection. These protective orders are granted when there is a claim of domestic violence. Under Washington law, domestic violence is not only physical harm, it also includes stalking, destruction of property, and even verbal threats of violence. Poorly chosen words used in the heat of an argument have caused many men to be accused of domestic violence.
If a protective order is granted, a father may be ordered to stay away from his wife and kids, prohibited from entering his home, or even visiting his children’s school. He may even be forced to attend counseling or anger management classes.
During the divorce process, the court may issue a Restraining Order. A father with a restraining order against him will have a difficult time fighting for custody and visitation of his children. Restraining orders may also become permanent with the final divorce decree.
If a man violates an active order for protection or restraining order, he can be arrested. Many good husbands and fathers receive a rude awakening when their wives inflate an argument and accuse them of making threats against her and the children. In such circumstances, you need a divorce lawyer experienced in aggressively fighting orders for protection.
It is absolutely against your best interest to resort to any behavior that may be labeled as domestic violence. During the divorce, give your former spouse plenty of space and avoid any confrontations. You will likely be hurt by many things your wife has done. One heated argument in public may be all it takes to have the court issue a protective order.
In the short term, you could face jail time and restrictions on your access to your home, spouse, and children. In the long term, charges of domestic violence may result in restraining orders, anger management class requirements, and permanent restrictions on custody and visitation with your children.
Having a restraining order entered against you can have lasting effects on things that you would not necessarily expect, like your ability to get a job or a security clearance. Restraining orders are good, necessary tools to be used by the court; but it is important that the power of restraining orders not be abused. If your spouse has asked the court to enter a temporary restraining order against you, you need a good family law attorney to help you challenge the accusations in court.
An arrest for domestic violence leads to the very real possibility of criminal charges. Domestic violence is a serious crime in the state of Washington. Police officers have a duty to arrest if they believe an incident has occurred or an order for protection has been violated. A conviction on your record will impact you for years to come. The safest course is to avoid any situation that can result in an argument or confrontation.
If You are the Victim of Domestic Violence
It is important that action be taken to protect you and your children from harm. A restraining order or other legal action may be appropriate. Female domestic violence against males is not uncommon, but it is not frequently discussed in public. Your attorney can help you understand your options and present relevant facts about abuse properly to the court.
It is important that you talk openly with your attorney about the issue of domestic violence if it is affecting your life. Full and truthful disclosure is essential for the best family law representation. Your disclosures to your attorney are privileged and confidential.
The attorneys of Divorce Lawyers For Men have defended hundreds of Washington men against Orders for Protection and Restraining Orders. Don’t let unfounded accusations of domestic violence ruin your life. Call us today at (360) 866-7393 to speak with an attorney who understands your situation.
“I got upset and left a very angry message on my wife’s voice mail. A few days later I got a notice she was seeking a restraining order to stop me from seeing my children. Without Divorce Lawyers For Men defending me at the hearing, I don’t know if I would be able to see my kids today.” – Sam G.