Ending a relationship, whether married or not, is a significant event. However, it does not need to be a traumatic event. Unfortunately sometime that is the result. There is no reason to accept abuse, be it: verbal, emotional or physical, constant harassment, unrelenting telephone calls or texts, stalking, defaming social media posts, physical contact, threats of any kind, or other such conduct. Having someone “in your face” yelling, screaming or threatening is simply unacceptable.

The Family Code provides significant remedies for these types of situations when intervention, sometimes immediatly, becomes necessary. Legally, there are remedies available within the DVPA (Domestic Violence Prevention Act.) Upon proper application, the Court can and will issue immediate orders restraining conduct, action and speech of the offending party; immediate custody and control orders where appropriate; stay away orders; exclusive use and possession of property; and no contact orders pending a full hearing within 21 days. These orders can be issued upon four hours telephone notice to the opposing party and in extreme situations, without prior notice whatsoever.

There is also the immediate remedy of an EPO (Emergency Protective Order) which can be issued by a law enforcement officer responding to a call for assistance to prevent violence. Should circumstances warrant, the officer can contact a designated judicial officer and receive authorization to issue an immediate order. These orders are valid for 72 hours during which time the party should seek longer orders as set forth above under the DVPA.

It is important if you are in the process of dissolving your relationship to get the “ground rules” set early. Do not put up with threats; plan and simple. Seek legal assistance as soon as possible to discuss your situation with a qualified attorney.

One last very important tip, if your situation warrants it, do no wait to talk to or see an attorney…

Call 911 instead!

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