In divorce cases, we often have restraining orders that come into play. It happens quite a bit, and there are two sides to it: the person who has gone to get the restraining order or the person who had a restraining order against them. You really have to sit down if it’s the person whom someone has filed a restraining order against and really talk to the person about the incident that occurred – or the several incidents that arose – the reason for the restraining order, and go through the facts and that person’s side of the story, see if there are any witnesses, if the police were called, and if the police would be a witness. The attorney figures out whether the client has a chance of defending against the restraining order, and then the attorney just kind of tells them what their chances are. Sometimes even if chances are slim, the client wants to go forward with the hearing, but other times the client may decide that they’re not going to be able to prove that it didn’t happen, because it usually comes down to one person’s word against the other person.
If the wife says, “He held a gun to my head and said he was going to pull the trigger,” and the husband says, “I didn’t have a gun and I didn’t hold the gun to her head,” then you as a judge have to decide who you’re going to believe, and it’s hard. That’s kind of what you do with your client who says that they did not do anything or that the allegations aren’t true. You kind of see what you think a judge might do and give them your best opinion.
Laura Schantz is a family law attorney and mediator practicing in Beaverton, Oregon. To learn more about Laura Schantz and her firm, Schantz Law P.C., visit www.oregondivorceattorney.com.