Restraining Orders Filed During Divorce in Ocean County NJ
What Happens when a Restraining Order is Filed in the Divorce Process in Tinton Falls, Lakewood, Freehold, Toms River, and other Ocean and Monmouth County towns.
Divorce can be a challenging time in a person’s life, and it is not uncommon for tensions to rise between the two parties. In some cases, this tension can escalate to the point where one party feels the need for legal protection from the other. This is where restraining orders come into play. A restraining order is a legal document that can be used to protect an individual from physical harm, harassment, or other forms of abuse.
Restraining orders are typically issued after a hearing where the person seeking protection presents evidence of the need for such an order. Violating a restraining order is a serious offense and can lead to legal consequences for the restrained person, including fines, jail time, or other penalties. Getting a divorce is no walk in the park, and it can be more difficult when a restraining order is placed against the soon-to-be ex-spouse.
If you are navigating divorce, but at the same time there’s a Restraining Order in place, get in touch with Bronzino Law Firm, LLC to explore the different scenarios this situation poses to divorcing parties. Our attorneys are well-versed in domestic violence and family law issues and will provide guidance and legal counsel from both perspectives. This is not a new situation for us since we have handled numerous similar cases in Holmdel, Jackson, Sea Bright, Manalapan, Brielle, Little Silver, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, and elsewhere in Monmouth and Ocean County. Contact Peter Bronzino and speak with a seasoned lawyer today. You can reach us by calling (732) 812-3102 for an initial cost-free consultation.
If My Spouse Has a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Against Me, Can I Still File for Divorce in NJ?
Either spouse has a right to end the marriage. The act of filing for divorce in no way violates a restraining order. When you prepare your divorce complaint, you need to focus on legal issues such as spousal support, child custody, and distribution of assets and debts. Frequently, couples become petty, including hurtful statements, name-calling, and issues the court deems frivolous. These frivolous complaints often stem from the animus felt between the couple. An example of this issue includes asking the court to prevent your ex from dating your best friend. The court needs to do something about whom your ex decides to date. If you have a restraining order placed against you, constant frivolous complaints to the court could be seen as harassment. Repetitive, frivolous filings can be interpreted as abusive litigation tactics, and you could be charged with violating the restraining order.
Significant Consequences When a Restraining Order is Issued During a Divorce Case
Having a restraining order that is given during a divorce case can complicate matters somewhat. First, the spouses may only be able to talk with one another if they are with their respective legal counsel. Child custody or visitation rights could be affected if one parent is prohibited from visiting the family home. If the spouses are only allowed to see each other in court, their attorneys will be obligated to hammer out a custody agreement and fair alimony without the parents present. The parents will have input, but the process will be more difficult because they can’t share the same space.
Process of Restraining Orders Issued in a Divorce Situation
A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is a type of restraining order that is granted by a judge and is valid for a short period, typically ten days. A TRO is intended to provide immediate protection to the victim while they wait for a hearing to determine if a more permanent restraining order should be granted. A TRO can include provisions such as prohibiting the abuser from contacting the victim, ordering them to stay away from the victim’s home or workplace, and prohibiting them from possessing firearms. A TRO can be obtained without the other party being present, but the victim will need to provide evidence that they are in immediate danger of harm. If the victim requires ongoing protection after the TRO expires, they can apply for a more permanent restraining order.
A Final Restraining Order (FRO) is a restraining order granted by a judge and is valid until a judge decides if it can be lifted. An FRO is intended to provide ongoing protection to the victim. It includes provisions such as prohibiting the abuser from contacting the victim, ordering them to stay away from the victim’s home or workplace, and prohibiting them from possessing firearms. An FRO can only be obtained after a hearing, where both parties have an opportunity to present evidence.
To obtain an FRO, the victim must provide evidence that they have been the victim of abuse or harassment by the other party. This can include witness testimony, police reports, and medical records. If a FRO is granted, the abuser will be required to comply with the order’s provisions, and any violation can result in criminal charges. In order for an FRO to be issued, there must be a previous history of domestic violence.
Navigating a Divorce when a Restraining Order Is In Effect in New Jersey
While navigating divorce proceedings that involve an existing restraining order, both parties must respect it as directed by competent courts with jurisdiction over such matters. It is, therefore, incumbent upon legal authorities involved in enforcing these orders to ensure compliance with designated protocols related to issues like communication, physical proximity, and other limitations placed on any party bound by such an order.
In cases where fresh evidence or changing circumstances require modification or extension of an existing restraining order, courts handling these sensitive issues must act decisively and expeditiously in the interest of all involved parties. Violating any part of such orders can result in criminal proceedings against offenders, further complicating ongoing divorce disputes at this challenging time.
Furthermore, during custody battles or negotiations surrounding the equitable division of assets among divorcing couples, judges must consider these discussions to account for any pre-existing restraining orders issued before reaching a final decision. Also, the court must contemplate the impact their decisions will have on divorce and child custody issues.
If a Divorce Settlement Has Been Reached, Does the Restraining Order Still Remain in Effect?
An FRO cannot be lifted until the victim explains to the court why it is no longer necessary or the person against whom the order was placed can prove to the court that it is no longer needed. If there is an FRO, that is indicative of domestic violence issues. Even if the restraining order is withdrawn, there may still be criminal charges pending.
Managing Communication Between Parties During a Divorce if a Restraining Order Is in Place
There are workarounds when dealing with a restraining order during a divorce. They may slow the process but prevent a breach of the order during the divorce. In a divorce proceeding, shuttle diplomacy refers to a negotiation technique where a neutral third party, often a mediator or an attorney, conducts separate meetings with each spouse rather than having them communicate directly. The mediator or attorney acts as a go-between, shuttling back and forth between the spouses to facilitate communication and help reach agreements on various divorce-related issues.
The mediator or attorney meets individually with each spouse to understand their perspectives, goals, and concerns. This allows the parties to express themselves openly without the potential for confrontation. They collect relevant information from each spouse, such as financial documents, parenting plans, or other necessary details. They shuttle between spouses, relaying messages, proposals, and counteroffers. They help manage emotions, reduce tension, and maintain a productive atmosphere. Through the shuttle diplomacy process, the neutral third party assists the spouses in finding common ground and reaching agreements on various issues, such as property division, child custody, visitation schedules, spousal support, and any other matters relevant to the divorce.
Shuttle diplomacy can be an effective tool in resolving disputes and reaching mutually acceptable solutions. It allows the parties to maintain some distance and reduces the likelihood of escalating conflicts. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of shuttle diplomacy depends on the willingness of both spouses to participate in good faith and the specific dynamics of the case.
Another option is written communication. In some cases, the restraining order may allow for written communication, such as emails or text messages. Ensure you thoroughly review the terms of the restraining order to determine if written communication is permitted. If allowed, keep your communication concise, focused on essential matters, and avoid any language or content that could violate the restraining order. This option can be used as a temporary measure until the divorce is settled, and any abuse could result in criminal charges.
Parenting apps or platforms have become popular since the pandemic. If the communication primarily revolves around parenting and child-related matters, consider utilizing parenting apps or platforms designed for separated or divorced parents. These platforms provide a secure environment for discussing and coordinating parenting schedules, sharing important information, and documenting any necessary communication in a space where attorneys can supervise the communication between their clients using a video feature or in written form.
Possible Alternatives to a Restraining Order in the Divorce Process in Monmouth County, NJ
A civil restraint order can cover various issues such as domestic violence concerns alongside custody arrangements and financial support matters. In instances where couples are separating, communication plans involving child handovers could be established between them. It’s important to note that breaching the conditions attached to this type of court order results in being charged with a civil offense rather than a criminal liability, which differentiates it from restraining orders that could also limit professional opportunities, unlike civil orders.
Alternatively, both parties can voluntarily enter peaceful contact agreements (PCA) by establishing boundaries around communication modes allowed along with specified areas where contact can occur. Specific consequences are also articulated should the agreed-upon protocols be broken. Lastly, if both sides are open-minded about peaceful resolutions regarding their conflicts, they might engage in informal mediation or negotiation sessions led by an unbiased third party. This could result in mutually satisfactory solutions without having to go through the formal legal system.
Contact Wall NJ Divorce Lawyer for Help Handling Restraining Orders in the Divorce Process
Getting a divorce is a stressful, exhausting process, which is made even more complicated when there is a restraining order between spouses. Our lawyers are focused on getting you through your divorce while making sure your rights are validated. At the Bronzino Law Firm, we pride ourselves on recognizing that each client is unique. We will provide strategies to communicate your needs and process your divorce in an equitable way throughout Ocean and Monmouth County in towns such as Red Bank, Point Pleasant, Rumson, Bay Head, Berkeley, Toms River, Lakewood, and Belmar. We want you to feel that this is a collaborative process conducted for your benefit.