What to do if I was recently served with an order of protection for alleged stalking and harassment by my boyfriend’s ex-wife?

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What to do if I was recently served with an order of protection for alleged stalking and harassment by my boyfriend’s ex-wife?

The order also includes their 2 children. I have never done anything to physically harm the girls; I love them and they have become part of my life. I live with my boyfriend and we have the girls every other weekend. We plan on getting married in the near future the ex simply does not like me being with her ex-husband. How can I hope to ensure that the children are not included in the order of protection as my relationship will end if it does and that is what she wants.

Asked on January 2, 2013 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you were served with an order, but you were not notified of a hearing, it sounds like you were served with a temporary order of protection.  This means there should be another hearing scheduled in the near future to decide if the order should remain in effect and the extent of the order (i.e. who it should cover).  If you did not get a hearing date, you need to contact the court coordinator to find out the hearing date.  Do not rely on your husband's ex-wife to tell you.  Once you know the hearing date, make sure that you appear and are prepared to contest the protective order.  If you have any evidence to rebut the stalking allegations, you need to take that with you as well.  Sometimes facebook and other social networking sites come in handy as "victims" tend to brag about the games they are playing within the system.  Your boyfriend also needs to appear and testify that you are not a danger to his children.  If there is anyone else that is a neutral third party that has seen you interact well with the children, see if they will come as well.  The main thing is to show up.  If you do not appear, then she can go forward and get a default order against you with whatever wording that she would like.

If there is not a hearing scheduled, you need to work with the court to get one scheduled.  If a final hearing was held, but you did not get notice, you need to file a motion for new hearing or motion for reconsideration and ask the court to set aside the prior order because of lack of notice to you.  Then be prepared with the information as described above when there is a hearing set.

It sounds like this ex-wife is really a piece of work.  You and your boyfriend may want to consider hiring a family law attorney to help you with these proceedings as well.  If she is going to continue with this type of gaming, your boyfriend may want to consider requesting a modification of custody since she does not appear emotionally mature enough to handle the duties of a custodial parent. 

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Given the serious situation that you now find yourself in I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney as soon as possible to oppose the order of protection presently pending against you. Note, under the laws of all states in this country your boyfriend's ex-wife has the right to have no contact with you and to request that you have no contact with her children.


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