“I don’t Feel Comfortable With You Coming Home”

What do you do when your spouse tells you this and refuses to have a calm discussion about why he/she feels this way?  Well, you have two basic options:

  • Ignore his/her statement, after all its your home too.
  • Stay away for a period of time and try again later.

Unfortunately, this statement is often made as a veiled threat by your spouse that she/he will call the police or seek a restraining order against you.  And, many judges are more likely to issue an emergency restraining order than to take the chance that someone may be harmed if one is not issued.  The initial emergency restraining order can be issued without your knowledge and should not last more than ten days before you have an opportunity for a court hearing, which will provide you with an opportunity to oppose the extension of the restraining order.  In the meantime, however, the initial restraining order places you in a disadvantaged position, especially if you have minor children.  In an emergency order, not only are you precluded from entering your home or being within a certain number of yards from your spouse, oftentimes the order includes giving your spouse sole custody of your minor children.  Your parenting time and your access to even talk to your children is obstructed until an evidentiary hearing is scheduled about ten days later.  Therefore, when you hear these words or something similar from your spouse, it is important to consider what she/he really means and what plans she/he may be considering in order to gain the upper hand in a potential divorce action. Of course, if you have physically harmed or caused your spouse to be in fear of potential harm, then your actions have met the threshold requirement for the continuance of a restraining order and you should retain experienced counsel to help you navigate through this legal process, so you are able to resume parenting time with your children.

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