Welcome to the nasty world of custody battles. I don't think a day goes by when I don't hear a story like yours. You don't need "tips" on how to reply to the restraining order, you need a qualified California matrimonial lawyer to guide you. "Tips" are for removing an old tile floor from a bathroom you want to remodel, not for custody battles.
The issuance of a restraining order against you is a very serious occurence. I agree, in that there are really no "tips" that will help you here. Proceeding on your own is a very unwise and precarious undertaking. The ramification of having a restraining order issued against you in the state of California are far reaching and include but are not limted to, absolutely having any court consider the "finding" of domestic violence against you in any child custody matter for the next five years, losing your right under the second amendment of the U.S. constitution to own a gun, having the information regarding the restraining order available to law enforcement personel pursuant to the CLETS system (California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System) anytime you have an encounter with law enforcement, including a simple traffice stop. Law Enforcement will know, each time you encouter them, that you are a restrained person. These orders and restrictions could be in place for up to five years and can, at the end of five years, be re-issued for additional years, even without any showing of new violence. Once you have your custody limited by virtue of the restraining order, please remember that the child support guidelines in California are specifically, and negatively impacted when your "time" share with your children is very low. So, as a result of all of this, count on your child support potentially increasing dramatically. It is very important that you retain a lawyer to assist you with this and do not assume that if you appear and tell the judge "She lied" that you can make this go away. It is not ever that simple.
Here is an excellent article on the ramifications of domestic violence on custody.
I recommend that you hire an attorney immediately. If you have a restraining order issued against you, there are serious consequences for custody.
Custody issues and permanent restraining order hearings are best left to professionals. A family law lawyer can best advise you and represent you in regards to the particular facts of your case. The court places great weight on established patterns of custody, or "status quo", so it is critical that you get favorable orders from the onset. False claims and "he said/she said" issues are, unfortunately, commonplace in family law. Good luck.
Law Offices of Stella Espinoza Browne