I filed a petition for divorce w/ kids 60 days ago, a waiver was signed by my husband. I had to file a police report due to threats against me by my ex. He chased me and our kids with a gun in the car, he calls me to tell me he will kill me. The police is working on getting a restraining order. Do I wait until I get a restraining order to finalize my divorce or should I finalize my divorce before getting the restraining order? I filed the petition for divorce, I do not have an attorney.
I honestly do not have money to hire an attorney. Any help/steps so that I can do this Pro Se would be greatly appreciated. It is a Protective Order, my husband currently has a warrant for his arrest for the report that I filed. My main concern is getting the protective order but also being able to proceed with the divorce, because I highly doubt he will sign a waiver for divorce if I have to refile. I'm not interested in money, my main concern is my safety and my kids. The divorce is very important to me because he thinks he owns me because I'm still his wife. We no property/investments/assets to divide or anything of the sort.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
The P.D. should put you in contact with the Harris County Atty's office. I could make an argument to get the protective order first. That would help limit his access to the children and to you. If the P.D. were to prosecute him for family violence and get a conviction, that might put you in line for some post divorce spousal maintenance.
I really do think you need to consult with an experienced family lawyer to fully explore your options.
I am not intending this to be legal advice, because I don't know the particulars of your situation. Call me if you would like to discuss this or other isues.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
If you believe you and/or your kids are truly in danger, then by all means, do everything possible to get the restraining order put into place. This should not be a lengthy process, so if you are hitting roadblocks, you should retain an attorney immediately. The divorce can likely be finalized regardless of the status of the restraining order.
The foregoing is not intended to be specific legal advise, but rather general information. If you require specific legal advise, you should retain a qualified attorney in your area.
Family Law Attorney
There are a lot of issues presented here. A restraining order and a protective order are two very different things. Have you talked to the DA? Did you put things in the divorce petition to keep him away and to protect yourself and your kids. Don't finalize just to get it done. Talk with a good family law attorney about your options. Contact my office 713-807-9405 to set up an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your options.
Family Law Attorney
If you fear for your safety, you need a PROTECTIVE Order. If you did not make a police report when he chased you all with a gun, you should do so as soon as possible! An attorney would be a great asset to you in this matter. You might try legal Aid, local domestic violence shelters, and/or law school legal clinic to get some assistance.
Take any & all police reports with you to court when you go to prove up your divorce, as well as the waiver your husband signed, and ask the judge to help you protect your children and yourself with a protective order. Good luck.
This answer is general information which does not establish any attorney-client relationship between the person asking a question and the person answering, or a duty to respond to ongoing questions; nor is it intended to replace competent legal assistance in the jurisdiction where the matter/issue arises or is before a Court.