This is a response I gave to the question of "should you protect yourself or fight for the right to be in your kids lives" or put another way "fight for your kids right to have you in their lives". -------- I was told that my ex-wife was going to do everything in her power to make my life hell. I was told by a friend that I should consider "leaving my kids behind" to preserve myself. It makes perfect sense, I can not be there for them, in ANY capacity if I don't take care of myself. I decided to stay involved because I believe there are key years in a child's life that they need a father and will remember forever and you need those years to ensure a solid bond with your kids.
I thankfully have a wife that fully supports me and understands that my ex-wife wants to only bring trouble into our lives. She is and has always been adverse to drama. The drama in our house is kept to a minimum. My ex-wife has tried and failed many, many times to create problems. We stick together and that helps but it is not easy.
I have had orders of protection against me from my ex-wife. I had an order of protection against me for my kids. Couldn't see them unless I had supervised visits. This went on for a year and three months. They first try to make you lose credibility - well - "if he had an order of protection he must have done something." The judge who originally issued it never even met me nor I was in court to defend myself. I've had sheriffs come to my door and hand deliver summons etc. At some point you realize its all meant to intimidate you and you start seeing it for what it is - bs.
You WILL have people ganging up on you because fathers are an easy target - its not right - its harmful in many ways. Over time my ex-wife lost credibility. 3 hours before I was to drop the kids off to her one day she was taken to MHU (mental health unit) for breaking out her apartment windows. Saratoga County CPS gave her the Okay and she had the kids back at her place the next day. This is just one example. The truth tends to "leak out" over time. All I can say is "know yourself" and everything else is bs.
For the last four year my kids and I have strengthened our bonds and when my daughter and son tell me they missed me and they love me I know I made the right choice.
I know other fathers who have left to preserve themselves. Not every situation is alike some are worse then others and the decision to leave might make sense for them. I considered it but I stayed and I'm glad. I am now trying to stay involved in government elections and petitioning for equal parenting - If we want change we have to bring it, if not for us, for our children.