Do not allow your partner to provoke you into breaking the restraining order. In many states, even a minor violation of a restraining order is grounds for arrest. If your partner tries to get you to break the order, document the action and seek immediate legal advice. Consider going to the judge to request the restraining order be broadened to apply to your partner (called a “mutual restraining order”).
These are examples of deceptive tactics, and actions you should take:
- If your partner calls on your cell phone, do not answer.
- If your partner sends a text message, do not reply.
- Do not accept an invitation to come over to your partner’s house to “kiss and make up.”
- If you should happen to see your partner on the street, immediately turn around and walk away.
- If your partner comes to your residence “just to talk things over,” do not accept the offer.
- Do not enter the person’s car, even to leave something for the children, or even if your partner asks you.
- Do not allow your partner to provoke you to engage in retaliatory violence.
- Respond to the provocation by shielding yourself with your hands and physically backing away.
- Do not push your partner away or restrain your partner’s arms.
- Do not block your partner from leaving the room or grab the person by the wrist to get her to stay and talk.
- Avoid engaging in verbal conflict. Do whatever you can do to de-escalate the situation.
- If possible, activate your cell phone to record the incident.
- Afterwards, document exactly what your partner said and did.
There are now a number of ways to track your movements, which can make it easier for a person to claim you violated the terms of the order. At the first sign of a false allegation, request a copy of this evidence, because many surveillance records and videotapes are purged after a few weeks (do not place a tracking device on your partner’s car):
- Cell phone GPS
- Car GPS (e.g., On-Star, Garmin)
- ATM transactions
- Credit card transactions
- Third-party witnesses
- Sign-in sheets
- Video surveillance systems
During child visitation exchanges:
- Bring a third party with you.
- Park well away from your partner.
- Do not make eye contact with the other party.
- Complete the exchange and leave as quickly as possible.
- Keep a daily log of your activities and whereabouts, as evidence that you did not violate the terms of the restraining order.
Remember to always be alert and be on your guard.
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