Restraining Order and Criminal Charges During a New Jersey Divorce

Divorce is often difficult for the parties involved, particularly if it’s contentious. In this type of divorce, emotions can run high inside or outside the court. And as both spouses end up in violent altercations, physical health becomes a problem. If the couple has kids, their safety might become an issue as well. In his case, one spouse may need to request the court to issue a restraining order or bring criminal charges against the other spouse even before their divorce has yet to be finalized. Sometimes, restraining orders and criminal accusations can happen in all kinds of relationships that have been ended. 

If you are facing criminal charges or being issued with a restraining order, you must speak with a reliable restraining order defense lawyer who can protect your rights and help you understand your legal options. 

How Can You Be Charged with a Crime During Your Divorce?

In New Jersey, police respond to calls of domestic violence. Thus, you can be arrested when your alleged victim gives the authority a call. During your divorce, you can be accused of threatening or violent behavior by your spouse. Usually, such charges include harassment, simple assault, trespassing, criminal mischief, possession of a weapon, and terroristic threats. 

Although some domestic violence acts involve actual or physical violence, others involve intimidation, verbal threats, or emotional abuse. Your spouse may charge you for damaging property they own like a car or cell phone. And since such charges are indictable offenses, you can end up in prison when convicted. 

How to Deal with a TRO

Restraining orders are considered civil matters. Thus, the Superior Court Family Division handles them. In domestic violence cases, a temporary restraining order or TRO is often issued against an alleged abuser. If you are served with this order, you may be prohibited from contacting the alleged victim or even your children. 

If your spouse charged you with domestic violence and you have been a subject of a TRO, a final restraining order should be held within ten days to determine if the judge should issue a permanent order. During the hearing, the judge will listen to both parties arguments and assess the evidence presented to determine if the safety of the alleged victim is a real concern. Also, the judge will take into account your history of domestic abuse. 

No matter what the outcome of the hearing is, you may still need to deal with the criminal charges that stem from the complaint filed by the alleged victim. A separate court will handle the criminal matter. Also, you could be served with a TRO even if you are not facing criminal charges.