When you marry, you expect to live happily ever after and grow old together. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Couples split up for a variety of reasons. When children are involved, this adds more stress and complication. When there is violence or harassment, a restraining order may be needed to protect you and the children. If he violates the restraining order, the game changes considerably.
What is a restraining order?
A restraining order is an order the court implements to protect a person from another where violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking is involved. The parent under the restraining order is required to stay a certain distance from the other parent, their children and family for safety reasons. In some cases, the children may not be added to the order. If the children aren’t in any danger and the issue is only with the other parent, the non-custodial parent may have visitation rights or visitation under supervision.
What if he violates a restraining order?
Violating a restraining order means he’s in contempt of court, and it is a criminal offense. He can be fined and imprisoned if the judge so chooses. Just as with any crime in America, it must be proven that he did violate the order.
Proof of the violation and his defense
The burden of proof is on the victim of the violation. It must be proven to the court that he did violate the order. First, it must be validated that there actually was a restraining order in place that was legally issued by the judge. You will then need to prove that he knew the order existed. For example, if the order was an emergency order issued quickly by the judge, he may not have known about it. Finally, you will have to show that he intentionally violated the restraining order. An example of this would be if you two accidentally cross paths at the same store. This wouldn’t be his fault and wouldn’t be considered a violation.
Unfortunately, a restraining order is there for protection but doesn’t always work. Many times, the parent under the order knows about it but breaks it anyway out of anger or frustration. He may be determined to make you pay for the order and not care of the consequences at the time. In this case, you may be tempted to relocate, but there are things you should know before deciding to go this route.
General rules of relocation
There are typically some general rules that apply to relocation. For a situation to be considered relocation, the move must be at least 50 miles from the original location and must last for at least 60 days. Vacations or any family trips are not included in this.
Every state requires the relocating parent to provide notice in writing to the other parent. It must have the date and location of the move listed, and most states have a certain amount of notice the relocating parent must give. Once he receives the notice, he will have a certain amount of time to object. If he has violated the restraining order, it is likely he may not object.
There are many reasons a judge may approve for relocation. Some of these include a new career, education for the child and family in the other area. Certainly, a judge will consider violation of a restraining order, especially if the order was for violence. He has an obligation to provide for the child’s best interest.
If you find yourself in this situation, give us a call. We have the knowledge and expertise to guide you in what is best for you and your child. We can help get your paperwork filed and get you moving in the right direction.