What can I do if my wife filed a criminal complaint for DV after I told her that I wanted custody of our children?

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What can I do if my wife filed a criminal complaint for DV after I told her that I wanted custody of our children?

After telling my wife I was considering custody, she fled state with our kids. Then, a week later after telling her I was filing for custody, she filed for and recieved a DV restraining order. Her allegations were looked at by the police, then sent to our home state police. There is basically no case unless she speaks with them. She and I had then been talking peacefully and she told me she had no intention of talking to the police. However, after recieving custody/divorce papers, that has changed. She has told me that if I don’t withdraw the case she will push the issue with police here. Is this blackmail or coercion and what can I do about it? It would help with custody but then would she be able to push the criminal issue? What can I do here?

Asked on June 6, 2015 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You really need to do a couple of things....

First, if possible, document her comments about pushing charges if you refuse to withdraw the case.  This can be via an email or text.  If she's a bit smarter, she'll probably stick to telling you verbally-- if that's the case, then record the conversation.  (In the State of Texas, you can record a conversation as long as one party is consenting.... and that can be you pushing the record button)  You can bring it up by basically saying, hey, I just really need to understand what you want me to do and what you will do to resolve this whole mess...that will open the door for her to explain her blackmail.  It's a neutral statement without and admissions by you.  Don't make any promises.  Just seek clarification.

The next thing you need to do is visit with an attorney or attorneys that do family and criminal law.  There are several attorneys that do both, but if you can't find one, you may have to consult with one for each area.  They can help work you through the process of getting this matter set for a hearing in Texas, have a judge hear how she is abusing the judicial process, and ask for full or partial custody since she has engaged in parental alienation by taking off with the kiddos for the express purpose of avoiding joint custody.  You can try to do this on your own, but I would really suggest looking at some father's rights groups to help provide you with support.


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