Sometimes, you just need a divorce. Other times, you may need a restraining order to go along with it. How can you tell whether you should seek a restraining order with your divorce?
You should know that you don’t have to be a battered spouse to seek this type of protection. But these orders can have serious repercussions for the person they are taken out against, so they should not be sought without good reason. Below are some suggestions for determining whether you actually need a restraining order against the spouse you’re divorcing.
You have been threatened with violence
Divorce is typically fraught with anguish and recriminations. People say and do things during this time that they would not ordinarily do because they are over-emotional and angry. Your spouse may have said or done some less than stellar things that they regret — or will soon.
But no one should have to fear that the specter of violence will become too real. If your spouse has threatened you, your children or other family members with violence, you are within your rights to seek and order of protection against them.
How can you prove your case?
Courts take the issuing of orders of protection, i.e., restraining orders, very seriously. They neither want to deny one and have the person victimized by violence nor issue one precipitously and deny someone their rights.
The key is to strike the right balance, and that requires proof of your allegations. Being able to produce records of instances where your spouse sent threatening messages or left voicemails promising to do you or your loved ones harm can bolster your chances of success.
Producing witnesses who will go on record by signing affidavits attesting that they saw your ex following you home from work or elsewhere can carry weight with the court. If your soon-to-ex acted similarly toward another intimate partner or otherwise has a history of violence, this can also sway the court to your side.
Don’t delete threatening messages from your phone or answering machine. Also, as Texas is a one-party recording state, you are within your legal rights to record any telephone or face-to-face conversations that you have with your spouse.
Notify your family law attorney
One thing that you definitely want to do in these situations is keep your family law attorney in the loop. If you have any inkling that your spouse will lash out violently, let them know immediately so that they can seek a protective order for you.