You first need to determine what exact steps your ex has already taken.
Has your ex made a report to the police? If so, the police may be trying to contact you to get your side of the story regarding your ex’s allegations. You should not speak to the police during a criminal investigation without first speaking to an attorney.
Has your ex filed a petition with the court requesting an Order for Protection? If so and a judge approved the petition (in whole or in part), then you should have been served with notice of a hearing and/or an ex parte temporary order for protection. An ex parte order can restrict contact with your ex and prohibit you from visiting his or her residence or work place, among other things. Violating such an order can carry criminal consequences. For an order to be effective, it must be served properly. You can be served with these documents in person or by published notice (in a newspaper, for example). If you were served an ex parte order, but no hearing was scheduled, you should request one in order to defend your self against the allegations by your ex. There are time limits for requesting a hearing or a continuance of the hearing, so you should consult with an attorney.
Next, if a hearing is scheduled, your ex’s untrue allegations need to be disputed. Your ex, as the petitioner, bears the burden of showing the judge that you committed an act of domestic abuse against him or her, or any children, and that at the time you were family or a household member.
Domestic abuse includes either:
- Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
- The infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; or
- Some instances of terroristic threats, criminal sexual conduct, or interference with an emergency call.
Family or household members are defined broadly to include:
- Spouses and former spouses;
- Parents and children;
- Persons related by blood;
- Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
- A man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and
- Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
You should consult an attorney about how to best dispute your ex’s allegations, prepare for the hearing, and call witnesses.