Going through a divorce is stressful for both spouses and any children involved. If domestic violence or sexual abuse is in the picture – for you or for any of your children – the circumstances of a divorce can become downright dangerous
In cases with real danger, utilizing legal tools, such as restraining orders, to protect yourself or your family members is absolutely legitimate.
However, many people have a serious misunderstanding of the role of restraining orders. They may have received (bad) advice from friends and family members that they should file restraining orders to ensure that they retain child custody or even possession of the marital residence. Such advice is not only unhelpful, but can ultimately be very detrimental to your case.
Judges are very savvy about legal maneuvers and attempts to manipulate the court. Needless to say, if you’re caught attempting to pull a stunt like filing a frivolous restraining order, not only will your petition almost certainly be rejected, but the incident could possibly taint the entire course of your divorce proceedings.
If you have legitimate concerns about child custody or whether your spouse is attempting to conceal marital assets, there are legal procedures already in place. Resorting to what is essentially a frivolous restraining order is not necessary.
Worse, unnecessary restraining orders are a drain on the finances of the person against whom the order is filed. If you hate your spouse and want to see him or her “punished,” this may sound like just what the doctor ordered. However, in the long term, the only parties who truly benefit from unnecessary restraining orders are the attorneys who collect hefty legal fees for filing restraining order petitions on behalf of their clients. Think of it this way, if you’re expecting spousal support or child support from your ex after a divorce, it’s more likely you’ll actually receive it if your spouse is financially solvent.