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Divorce Options

New Egypt, NJ |

I was asked to leave my home in august to give my wife some space to think about the state of our marriage. We have been together for 12 years. I have tried over the course of these past 2 months to return home, but she has resisted. I finally got upset that she wouldn't let me return and called her a bad word via text. She went to the police and has barred me from returning home with a temp restraining order. We went to court last Monday and agreed to a civil restraining order until a divorce is finalized. She has exclusive occupancy of my home. I do not have the means to pay for my own apartment, bills and her alimony and attorney fees as she is requesting in her divorce papers. Would it pay for me to contest this since there is no history of abuse, adultery, cruelty, abandonment, etc.?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

you really should have consulted an attorney before going to court on the FRO hearing. Based on what you are saying, it is very likely that an attorney would have been able to dismiss the TRO, courts are hesitant to grant restraining orders based on verbal abuse/harassment unless it is very extreme.
However now that you have agreed to civil restrains and agreed to stay out of the house, it will difficult to contest it.
Generally you have as much right to stay in your home as your wife until the divorce is finalized.

Do you have a matrimonial attorney to handle your divorce? You will certainly need one considering all the issue you have.

I provide free consultations and flexible payment plans. If you would like to discuss further you can contact me at 551-427-4428

This answer should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship, and is for informational purposes only, not legal advice.

David Perry Davis

David Perry Davis

Posted

Ivan, nothing personal or anything, but Avvo's terms of service specifically prohibit "self-promotion" in answers to questions here. .... If readers like you're answer, they'll obviously click on your page and contact you.

Ivan Raevski

Ivan Raevski

Posted

Thank you David. I was not aware that this is prohibited. I know prices cannot be discussed and I did not go there. I just listed my phone number and offered a free consultation.

Asker

Posted

Ivan, I was represented by an attorney and am not sure exactly why she advised me to go with a civil restraining order. She claims it is the best scenario given that my wife can turn right around after the restraining order is dropped and go file for another TRO that same day. I felt it would be best to just fight it and have it dropped by she advised me otherwise, especially since I am not interested in creating conflict and forcing myself to live in the house with someone who has animosity towards me and can use any excuse to continue to file a TRO according to NJ law. Could there have been a different outcome? If so, please explain as I believe I need to retain new counsel for my divorce.

Ivan Raevski

Ivan Raevski

Posted

most of the time taking civil restraints is the best option when fighting a TRO/FRO. It is a guaranteed way to make sure you are not convicted of domestic violence and put into the offenders database which will restrict your rights (can't own a firearm, etc). That is probably why your counsel recommended it. Perhaps your lawyer just didn't want to go through with the trial for whatever reason and advised you to take the deal. However based on the what you said, that the only thing you did was call her a bad word over the phone, I find it very unlikely that a judge would grant her the FRO. Most cases I see the allegations of abuse are much worse than that. Most of the time it has to be physical abuse or some very extreme emotional abuse or harassment. But you never know how a judge might rule as it is in his/her sole discretion to grant the FRO or dismiss the TRO. So you lawyer probably didn't want you to take that risk even though your chances of winning were likely high. As for her filing for another TRO, she still can. There is nothing to stop her from doing so. However she would need some serious reasons in order to convince a judge to give her the FRO. TRO's are very easy to get but to win at the FRO hearing requires much more proof.

Posted

You should consult with an attorney to explore your options. Were you represented by an attorney when you entered into the civil restraining order?

This response is not to be construed as legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only. This response does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response provides general legal information and education. This response does not address any specifics concerning this inquiry, as the inquiry as written may have omitted details which would make the reply unsuitable. The inquirer is strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney in his or her own state to acquire more information about this issue. Licensed to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Asker

Posted

Asker I was represented by an attorney and am not sure exactly why she advised me to go with a civil restraining order. She claims it is the best scenario given that my wife can turn right around after the restraining order is dropped and go file for another TRO that same day. I felt it would be best to just fight it and have it dropped but she advised me otherwise, especially since I am not interested in creating conflict and forcing myself to live in the house with someone who has animosity towards me and can use any excuse to continue to file a TRO according to NJ law. Could there have been a different outcome? If so, please explain as I believe I need to retain new counsel for my divorce.

Posted

As has been previously said on topics of this level of importance .... some questions here can be quickly, easily, and accurately answered. Others cry out for getting a professional legal opinion and a formal consultation with an attorney who specializes in Family Law. You're in that second category. Skipping a consult under the facts you've set out is the very definition of being "penny wise / pound foolish."

I can't strongly enough suggest that you meet with an attorney and go over your case and what to do. Be read the riot act on the domestic violence act, which is unfortunately sometimes abused by someone with a weak custody case. Learn. I'm not one to punt every question here with "get a lawyer". but think of it this way: If this were a medical questions site and someone asked what the proper dosage of Tylenol for a 180 lb man is, it could be answered quick and clean. But - if someone posted a question saying they had severe chest paid radiating down their left arm... you'd say "get to a professional ASAP." You're asking a question here that's the equivalent of telling a doctor you have chest pain.

IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER AND APPRECIATE THE TIME IT TOOK TO WRITE IT, PLEASE SELECT IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Thanks. The above is said without seeing your case file and without my understanding the entirety of the facts of your case. Depending on those facts, the above information be may incomplete or may be completely inaccurate. The above is intended as general information only based on what you described and not as legal advice. I advise you to consult with counsel who may be able to provide better information commensurate with a better understanding of your situation.

Asker

Posted

I have consulted with an attorney and retained her to represent me on the TRO. It was concluded that the civil restraining order would be the best outcome for me, especially pending a divorce which my wife has already filed for. I am not completely confident in my attorney's abilities, hence my questions. I would not be foolish enough to face a court alone on a TRO given the state's tendency to grant it on a lifetime basis to anyone screaming fire...regardless of lack of proof. I can't help but wonder if the TRO could have been dropped without my agreeing to a civil restraining order since the worst i ever did in 20 years was call her a c**t after working a 16 hour shift and having gone over a month without seeing my dogs, which she refuses to allow me to take with me. I apologized immediately after I said it, also via text, and she was still able to obtain a TRO.

David Perry Davis

David Perry Davis

Posted

On the one hand, it is always easy to look back and say "I should've taken the case to trial" after it's over. I don't know what the entire history was or what was listed in the TRO, I don't know what risks you were facing, or how strong the case was. I think immediately of a guy I represented about 15 years ago - a police officer who had a very, very weak TRO against him. I thought his odds of beating it in court were 95%. But 5%.... when you're talking about ending a career, losing a pension, never being able to work in the field again, discharge from the National Guard -- how do you weigh out the risks? He took civil restraints and a couple of months later was blaming me for settling the case. It certainly wasn't my ultimate decision not to try the case. On the other hand, I have seen breathtaking malpractice by attorneys in the name of "settling" something rather than actually going to trial. It is very, very frustrating to review a case like that after it's over and to see that the person WOULD have done better i court, but turned out to have an attorney with no trial experience or who was intimidated by an adversary. Which category you're in.... As I (and the others answering) said, there's really no way to know. If all you did was call names (and if she wasn't planning to lie and claim there was much more), then you should have won - those were the allegations in this appeal I filed - http://dpdlaw.com/pdved_appeal.pdf which resulted in a reversal from the Appellate Division - http://dpdlaw.com/pdved_decision.pdf . Bottom line... get a second opinion. These decisions are too important for you to proceed without confidence in your attorney. Maybe they were wrong, maybe they were right.... but either way, I'd have the situation reviewed.

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