There are a few avenues that you can take to protect yourself against your abusive spouse.
First off, if there is domestic violence or if you are fearful for your, or your children’s safety, you should call local law enforcement immediately. The local police department or sheriff’s office will be your best protection against violence. Although civil lawyers can help get protection through the court system, we cannot provide protective services or initiate criminal proceedings. Only law enforcement and prosecutors can do that.
However, if you are fearful of violence or are being harassed by your spouse, ex-spouse, or the parent of a child, you can ask the court to put a civil protection order in place.
A civil protection order can be put in place in two situations. First, if you, or one of your children, are the victim of domestic violence, you can ask the court to enter an order stating that your ex or the other parent of your children to stay away from you and your kids.
Second, if you are being harassed, either by telephone calls, text messages, or emails, you can ask the court for the other person to stay away from you and not contact you. In either situation, there are more in-depth requirements that have to be met and certain steps that have to be made to get the order from the court. We can help with that process either way.
That being said, do not go out and try to get a civil protection order to try and get ahead in a divorce or child custody case. There are many cases where one of the spouses/parents attempt to use the civil protection order and civil justice system as a weapon and falsely make claims to get a CPO against there spouse in an attempt to make the other party look bad. If you are not actually fearful of your safety, a victim of domestic violence, or being harassed, you should not move forward with a CPO. This is one of those, you know it if you see it situations. I am in no way saying if you think you need a CPO, you shouldn’t seek one. I am just saying that you should not manipulate the system to attempt to gain an upper hand in your divorce or child custody case. Typically, those situations blow up in the person asking for the CPO’s face.
The other avenues from being assaulted or harassed include actually filing for the divorce, child custody establishment, or child custody modification case. Once you file the case, every court and county in Idaho automatically enters a joint preliminary injunction (or restraining order depending on the county and judge) stating that the other party cannot harass, disturb the peace, or assault the other. Now, again, like a civil protection order, this is just a piece of paper. So, if you are in danger, call 911 immediately.
If you are looking at a divorce or child custody case in an abusive relationship, you should first call the police if you are in danger, and then, call us to ensure you get the process started to move forward with your life ensuring that you have your bases covered.