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Father Jailed after Mother Initiated Contact

This link will take you to an article about a situation where the father was jailed for contact that the mother requested.

Do I want to see this guy in jail... of course not.  I'm actually an ally to this guy AND to the mother for the benefit of everyone involved--especially the daughter.

I don't think it is helpful to jump on the bandwagon of "poor guy".  Let's consider other options.

I have an interesting, perhaps unique take on this...  WHO'S RESPONSIBILITY IS IT TO UPHOLD THE RESTRAINING ORDER??????

We hear of this sort of thing often... the individual who sought the restraining order initiated contact with the restrained individual... who then was receptive and accommodating... and then was surprised when s/he got in trouble for the contact...

MMMmmmmm...

We suggest that you uphold the restraining order for as long as it is in effect... until you have a change of status in your hands that says that the order is modified to consensual contact or dropped entirely.  Failure ON YOUR PART to do so indicates a very low level of functioning ON YOUR PART.  You clearly want to demonstrate that you have the ability to uphold the restraining order... if you do not, you can't be surprised to see more police involvement in your life AND a decreased confidence in your ability to be a healthy parent.  THAT IS THE REALITY.

Your partner calls you and says they might arrest her after a court hearing today, so you should come to pick up your daughter...  First of all... don't pick up the phone when the protected person calls... you may want to change your number entirely or block her number. If a restraining order is placed on you... a little distance from this person, a break will do you good... that believe it or not is a wonderful use for jail... to force distance between people when it is clear that one is not willing to uphold the requested distance. That is about all I believe jail is good for... it's just a wake up call... that something isn't going well, that changes need to be made.

If the mother was detained and you have parental rights to the child, file an ex parte order to go in front of the family court judge for immediate temporary full custody.  They would award it unless you have demonstrated that you might not be a safe parent for your daughter (illegal activity, drug use, alcohol issues, unaddressed mental illness, or abusive behaviors --which include restraining order violations).  The bottom line is that the mother is responsible for the well being of her daughter too... she needs a support network of safe, reliable people whom she can count on THAT DO NOT INCLUDE A RESTRAINED INDIVIDUAL.  Depending upon the type of protective order, you may be allowed to talk with the other parent about the child.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is support the other person in their own autonomy... "I'm sure you can handle it."  She calls her mother to come pick up the daughter and you're not in custody for violating a restraining order.

This article talks about "the sensible thing"... to go get the daughter AND violate the TRO... MMMMmmmm... I bet, in 5 minutes, the fathers in our parenting / co-parenting program could come up with 10 other MORE sensible things than that... all with the child's best interest in mind.  Even if the daughter was temporarily placed in a foster parenting situation because the mother was in custody... isn't that better than the father also being in custody for the restraining order violation?  Hey, worse things can happen, it just depends upon how worse you're willing to make it!

Seems like often the children are the excuse to do terrible things, then blame it on others... or not to do good things, then blame that on others too.  Anything to keep the drama going...

The mother... I'm not saying she is the most wonderful person in the world to be around... it's not helpful to judge her good/bad or focus on her at all... the article only gives us part of the picture if any is accurate at all.  Her behaviors do not determine the behaviors of the father (her ex-partner).  He is not a puppet on a string... he can think for himself.  He can secure his own well-being.  He can proactively advocate for his daughter and exercise his parental rights... that is if he can stop playing the victim long enough.

Check it out!

http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/?p=12402

Published: Jan 16, 2011 by Jodi Harvey (Santa Cruz, CA)


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