Celebrating Father’s Day Amid a Pending Domestic Violence Case

pexels-rdne-8342296-200x300Father’s Day is traditionally a time for celebration, a day dedicated to honoring the bond between fathers and their children. However, if you are facing domestic violence charges involving your spouse or partner, the holiday can bring a unique set of challenges. You might be prevented from spending quality time with your children in the way that you’d like–or even at all. Even absent these constraints, balancing legal restrictions, emotional turmoil, and family dynamics requires additional considerations that would not usually exist. If your pending domestic violence case is clouding this holiday, what alternatives do you have for celebrating the day?

Understanding the Challenges

When there is a domestic violence case pending, several legal and emotional hurdles can complicate Father’s Day celebrations. These include:

  • Protective Orders: These orders may restrict contact with your spouse, partner, or even your children in some cases, making traditional family gatherings impossible. Violating an active protective order can result in criminal charges–even if your spouse/partner wishes to make an exception for you.
  • Temporary Custody Changes: If custody arrangements have been altered due to the case, you might have limited access to your children.
  • Emotional Strain: Even if no restrictions happen to be in effect, the stress and emotional toll of pending domestic violence charges can overshadow the joy typically associated with Father’s Day.

Alternative Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day

Despite these challenges, you may be able to find alternative ways to celebrate Father’s Day that respect legal restrictions while still allowing you to feel connected to your children and the spirit of the occasion. Let’s look at a few ideas.

Virtual Celebrations

If physical distancing is required, but virtual contact is not, consider celebrating remotely. A Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime video call can facilitate face-to-face interaction with your children. Plan a virtual activity, such as reading a book together or watching a movie simultaneously.


If your custody arrangement allows for in-person visitation, plan an activity that ensures compliance with any legal restrictions while making the day memorable. These might include:

  • Outdoor Activities: Consider activities like a picnic in the park, a visit to the zoo, or a simple walk in nature. These activities can provide a relaxed and enjoyable environment for you and your children.
  • Safe Spaces: Choose safe and familiar venues for your children, ensuring that the environment is conducive to a positive experience.

If Contact With Your Children Is Not an Option

Unfortunately, the court may have issued an order preventing contact with your children until the case is resolved. In this situation, you can still observe Father’s Day in meaningful ways that speak to better days ahead. Here are a few suggestions.

Create a Memory Box

If physical interactions are limited, creating a memory box can be a meaningful way to feel connected. You can include:

  • Memory Letters: Write letters to your children expressing your love and the positive moments you’ve shared. Include future hopes and dreams for your relationship.
  • Photos and Mementos: Collect photos, small gifts, and memorabilia that remind you of your children. These can serve as a tangible touchpoint to them during difficult times.

Engage in Activities That Honor Fatherhood

Even if you cannot be with your children, engage in activities that celebrate your role as a father, such as:

  • Personal Rituals: Spend time doing something you and your children would typically enjoy together, such as cooking their favorite meal or engaging in a hobby they love.
  • Volunteering: Consider volunteering for organizations that support families or children. Helping others can be a fulfilling way to spend the day and honor the essence of fatherhood.

Looking to the Future

Whether or not you’re able to celebrate with your children this Father’s Day, one of the most important things you can do is take constructive steps to get past this crisis and do whatever internal work is necessary so that you can be with your children for future Father’s Day celebrations. Here are some strategies to help you.

Counseling and Therapy

If your charges result in a conviction, you’ll likely be mandated to enter a state-approved Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP). However, you don’t have to wait for a court-ordered program to begin taking steps toward healing. In fact, taking the initiative may bolster your chances for leniency because you are demonstrating a desire to improve and be accountable. Any of the following may help:

  • Individual Therapy: Seek out a therapist who specializes in domestic violence cases or family issues. They can provide guidance and coping strategies tailored to your situation.
  • Support Groups: Join support groups for individuals going through similar legal and emotional challenges. Sharing experiences with others can reduce feelings of isolation and provide mutual encouragement.
  • Anger Management: Anger is often at the root of domestic violence. Enrolling in an anger management program can help you recognize triggers and learn positive ways to manage negative emotions.
  • Rehab: If drugs or alcohol abuse contributed to the incident that triggered your arrest, getting clean and sober is a crucial step to prevent future occurrences.

Journaling and Self-Reflection

Taking time to reflect on the events that led to your current situation can be valuable in understanding and addressing your actions. Consider keeping a journal or writing letters to yourself, exploring thoughts and feelings surrounding the case, your relationships, and your role as a father. This process can help you identify patterns and develop healthier coping mechanisms for future challenges. You might also focus on positive aspects of your life by keeping a gratitude journal. Acknowledging small blessings can improve your overall outlook and mental health while giving you a better perspective on your life and relationships.

Addressing the Legal Piece

Not that you could forget, but while considering these other issues, there are also real legal circumstances to deal with. Hiring an experienced California criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the difficulties of your current domestic violence case and work toward a favorable resolution. This may include:

  • Challenging unfair protective orders (especially those that keep you from your children);
  • Negotiating plea arrangements; and/or
  • Arguing your case to get charges dismissed or for an acquittal.

Taking steps now to resolve your current situation will improve your chances that future Father’s Days will be more promising than this one. For compassionate legal representation for your domestic violence case, call our offices today to schedule a consultation.

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