“I Was Served With A Restraining Order Giving Me No Visitation With My Kids: Can Anything Be Done?”
One of the common requests made with a restraining order filing is that the restrained person have no visitation with minor children. This is a fairly extreme order, but is asked for quite often in cases where violence, abuse, or drug or alcohol problems are alleged in the papers. Because the judge can only see what is filed and has to make a decision based on those papers, the orders or often granted.
There are two ways to deal with these restrictions. One is to simply wait until the hearing date and fight the restraining order. Restraining order hearings are set on an abbreviated time schedule from normal hearings, and your hearing date will not be too far in advance. This is a valid option in many cases, although not a comfortable one because of the separation from your child or children.
However, in some cases, this isn’t a good option. Sometimes you were the primary caretaker before the restraining order was filed, and the allegations are complete untrue. Or perhaps the hearing will be continued because you or your ex are hiring an attorney, and they need time to prepare for the hearing. Sometimes you can’t wait.
In those cases, an ex parte motion can be filed based on the detriment and danger to the child of the current visitation order being kept in place. If you file one of these, you have to keep in might that there is a chance the judge will simply say “I am not going to change the orders until we have a full hearing.” However, oftentimes, when presented with the other side of the story, the judge will adjust the temporary orders to a more appropriate schedule until the hearing. This can include supervised visitation or other restricted visitation, but it is a lot better than a no visitation order. It is important to check with an attorney about this to determine your chances of getting a change, based on the facts of the case and the judge assigned to hear your matter, so that you don’t waste a lot of time and money on emergency orders that will simply be denied.
These judgment calls are extremely difficult for judges to make before a full hearing has taken place, so explaining the full situation and the potential harm to the child are keys to getting adjustments to the orders.
DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.
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