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Bruce Lee once said that good footwork can beat any kick or punch. He called it “winning the war without firing a shot.” This is good advice for most situations, but especially so when it comes to personal protection orders (PPO’s). Bad moms are willing to lie to get PPO’s, which they then use to keep dads out of their children’s lives. The repercussions of this can last years.
If an angry girlfriend gets a PPO against you on made-up charges, it’s possible that you can file a motion to terminate it, and win. But the better, faster, and easier way is to avoid getting it entered at all. Here are some tips to help you dodge a PPO issued against you on false charges:
1. Never Hit Back: It’s hard not to fight back when anyone is screaming at you and hitting you over the head with a cell phone or a shoe. But if you hit a woman who does this, her assault will be forgotten and you will be the bad guy attacking an “innocent” woman. If your girlfriend begins striking you, scratching you, shoving you, etc., leave the situation immediately. Do not hit back, even if it’s to push her away from you. You would be amazed how that story will play out later when she files for a PPO.
2. Watch Your Mouth: If your girlfriend is acting outrageously (whether she is drunk, angry, or whatever), do not respond in kind. If she screams at you, don’t scream back. If she curses at you, don’t respond in kind. Or you may shortly see a petition filed, listing all of the things you said to her, but none of the things she said to you. You do not want to be in court, trying to explain that “she started it.” Again, if what she says or does is very upsetting, leave immediately.
3. Don’t Put It In Writing: I once had a case where my client’s girlfriend emailed him repeatedly, saying one insulting thing after another to him. Finally he reacted to her comments and came back with a few of his own. Guess what was taken out of context, copied and pasted into every document her lawyer filed? That’s right; all of my client’s insults. If you must respond, write down everything you want to say, and then delete it. Don’t send it! The momentary satisfaction you feel will cost you thousands of dollars in court, and parenting time with your kids.
4. Listen to Your Momma: Figuratively speaking, that is. In almost every case I have where the mother of my client’s child got a bogus PPO against him, his friends and family had been telling him long before that she was bad news. Men tend to get warm and fuzzy about a woman who has just had their child. But believe me, your inner circle is warning you for a reason! Take heed and keep the lady at a safe distance.
5. No Parent Left Behind: At Lady4Justice, we offer the No Parent Left Behind Plan™. It bridges the gap between the current state of law (i.e., single fathers have no custodial rights unless they go to court and fight for them) and the current state of reality; more than 50% of children are born to single parents. It is a flat fee package which gives parents equal custody without ordering child support or setting up parenting time. If you suggest the Plan to your girlfriend and she doesn’t agree, take it as a warning sign! All a single mom has to do is leave with the child, and/or get a PPO against you, and you could be on the outside looking in for the rest of that child’s life.