Can an abuser with an order of protection against them bring the abused to court on another matter?

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Can an abuser with an order of protection against them bring the abused to court on another matter?

We’ve been divorced for more than a year; we still lived in the home but in separate rooms. He wanted me to sell the house and give him money. I wouldn’t and told him that if he made me sell the house I would pay the $40,000 that he still owed on a car he was driving that was purchased in my name that he stopped paying for. He told me that the house may burn down then. There were other reasons for an order of protection but that was when I asked a therapist if there was anything I could do. They told me about the protection order. That protection order made him move. That was 2 months ago. This week I received notice from his lawyer. He;s taking me to court to re distribute the property so he can get the house. I don’t have money for a lawyer. I love this place and want to be here with my daughter. He wants to sell it. Just as when we were married hes decided whats going to happen and making me do it. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on September 17, 2019 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that an absuer still has legal rights; a protective order does not strip them all entirely away. In this case, you ex still maintains certain rights to the marital property. As to their odds of winning it's hard to say. Since you have no money for a lawyer, you can check if legal aid can help or you can only see if there is a law school nearby as they typically run fee/low cost clinincs that may take a case such as yours. Also, you can check with your city/county/state bar association for free or low cost legal help.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, he can: the protective order does not deprive the other person of his legal rights, such as the right to his share of marital property. Without knowing more, we cannot offer an opinion about his odds of success in the lawsuit or what he might get, but he definitely does have the right to bring you to court if he feels he has a case.


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