General Question

noraasnave's avatar

What are some practical steps I can take to keep a separated spouse from harassing myself and my children?

Asked by noraasnave (3094points) October 22nd, 2008

I separated from my wife when I recieved substantial proof of her unfaithfulness. My mother has some kind of woman’s intuition that my separated spouse is going to go nuts and try to harass me. At first I thought she was just being my Mom, however her continued insistence has made me decide to bring this question before you. I already plan to change the lock when I arrive back from Iraq. Thanks guys.

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18 Answers

syz's avatar

You need to seek legal counsel. This is way too serious an issue to approach casually.

asmonet's avatar

That sounds terrible, considering your situation. Change the locks, give her a few weeks to get the message, if after 3 weeks she’s trying her best to prove she’s batshit, recruit a lawyer, in the meantime document everything. Your concern is first and foremost the kids, and it seems like you know that. :)

poofandmook's avatar

@syz: But can he do that on grounds of “mother’s intuituion”?

edit: What I mean is, if he walked into a lawyer’s office and said, “my mom thinks my cheating wife is going to go batshit and stalk me and my kids”, won’t the lawyer just tell him that nothing can be done until she actually does it?

asmonet's avatar

@poof: Yeah, I didn’t think that was reasonable either, probationary period please. :)

Judi's avatar

Document everything. Anything that can be considered a small threat, even if it seems insignificant. When you DO have grounds for a restraining order, the more information you have the better. Have your mother do it too.
Usually intuition is based somewhere. Your mom should document everything too.

jvgr's avatar

There is little in the way of legal action that you can take based on a supposition.
Do everything you can to minimize interference:
Change locks
If you have sole custody, ensure that your children’s school officials and teachers are aware that their mother is NOT to be allowed to pick them up from school.

@asmonet’s suggestion is the best so far.
Document every incident that does occur: date, time, description and your response.
If she does harrass and it escalates, you will know when you need to take legal action with respect to advice and restraining orders.

syz's avatar

I’m not saying that he should take action against the ex-wife, I’m saying he should talk to legal counsel about what options he may have if there is a problem and how to go about taking those actions if necessary. He needs to prepare in advance rather than react after the fact.

My point is that if he is anticipating a problem, then he needs to do his research with a professional. Not that he needs to take action against the ex-wife.

tonedef's avatar

If an incident of physical violence occurs, report it to law enforcement immediately. Without that report, it may be very difficult to obtain a restraining order in the event you need one. As others have suggested, you should definitely consult an attorney, and consider having one represent you at the injunction hearing.

What state are you from, if you don’t mind my asking?

Judi's avatar

Be careful about reporting violence against you to law enforcement though. My nephew called the police after his ex slapped him and barged into his home. She then lunged at my other nephew (his brother) and nephew 1 pulled her away from him. Guess who went to jail and guess who now has a criminal record and can’t get a job? He had to plead at his attorneys insistence because they got an indictment even though his ex told the grand jury that SHE hit HIM! The police kept harassing him even after he got out of jail. He finally just moved to Dubai, but he left his son in the states. The police didn’t know he had moved and continued to harass my sister (who he had lived with.) The Ex rarely lets him talk to his son and uses the kid as a manipulative tool. It’s just sick.

jessturtle23's avatar

I don’t think your wife should not be able to be around her kids just for cheating on you. There must be somthing else. Who would keep the kids when you are in Iraq?

deaddolly's avatar

Definately note everything, including phone conversations. Note time of day, EVERYTHING. You’ll need it for a restraining order.
Hopefully, she’s not that stupid; but better to be safe than sorry.
@jess Cheating when your husband is in Iraq is a big deal. Where were the kids when she was having fun? If she did that, who knows what kind of mother she is?
Lastly, intuition never failed on me. Go with your gut.

Judi's avatar

Like dolly said, go with your gut, but maybe even better, go with your mom’s gut. You’re going through a traumatic experience. Divorce, Iraq, none of it is healthy. Your Mom is the one whose intuition is probably the most accurate.

Mizuki's avatar

you may find some links on this blog that could help you…if you are in the US, then you are screwed because women rule here.

jessturtle23's avatar

She is only human and cheating on a spouse that is far, far, away happens everyday. It is not reason enough to keep her kids from her. There must be something else going on. And Deaddolly, cheating on your husband doesn’t make you a bad mother. You are talking about a restraining order based just on the information she cheated and not anything else.

marinelife's avatar

I can see why this is a concern while you are so far away.

1. Until you know something has happened try not to worry.

2. You do not say where the children are. Who is caring for them now?

3. When you come back, do not let her know where you are living. Make the exchanges of the children occur where there are witnesses (for example, at a grandparents or siblings.)

4. If you have not yet done so, get a legal separation to protect financial assets.

I’m sorry that you are going through this.

TaoSan's avatar

sorry wrong thread

noraasnave's avatar

Okay, thank you all for you insightful thoughts and comments so far. Let me answer your questions:

1. My children are in Kansas with my parents, she adopted them, but is not interested in raising them. She sent my daugther to my parents house a month after I left. When we separated she sent my son out.

2. I am coming back to our previous shared home (that we own jointly). We have agreed that I will get the home and the car (all the debt…lol). We will both take sole custody of our individual children.

3. Honestly the most danger I see from my separated spouse is that she will try to get back with me, i.e. seduce me. Which is why my first concern is the door locks.

I am listening to my Mom, as you can see because I am seeking more knowledge from the experts (fluther).

I have everything documented automatically. YAY Gmail (chats and emails) But will take your advice when I speak with her in person.

Mizuki's avatar

I read that many women falsly accuse their spouse of sexual abuse and that this will almost always work to destroy your spouse. This is what I love about America!

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