I intend to ask for joint legal custody of my kids. There is a history of verbal abuse and stalking during our marriage, but all of my husband’s abusive behavior has been directed at ME, not my kids. I don’t believe that the behavior precludes him from joint custody. I do, however, want to protect my rights should the stalking continue and I need to obtain an order of protection. Would stalking be considered “significant” domestic abuse under this definition?
Unfortunately, this is somewhat of a moving target and subjective for each judge. An Order of Protection will certainly help and should provide a layer of protection but if a person is ever in fear they should call 911 immediately. An arrest/charge or even a criminal conviction for stalking, assault or domestic violence is much more serious in the eyes of the court than an allegation so documentation of the events is critical. In family court, a motion for temporary orders may be necessary upon the filing of a divorce petition. For additional questions and specific answers please speak with one of our attorneys.