Are there any laws that protect my wife from degrading verbal fits of outrage in public places by her ex-husband?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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Are there any laws that protect my wife from degrading verbal fits of outrage in public places by her ex-husband?

My wife’s ex-husband will at random depending on his mood get into screaming fits calling her names such as “whore” “bitch” “c*nt” to name a few, and occasionally, this has occurred in front of my stepdaughter who is now 6 years old. He would like for me to retaliate so that he could charge me with physical assault thus getting my professional nursing license revoked. I feel like my hands are tied.

Asked on August 22, 2011 North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's *possible* that his behavior could constitute some form of harassment, child endangerment (if done in front of the step daughter), or even "terroristic threat," if he is making threats. You may be able to press charges on one or another basis; you may also be able to get a protective order against him. You should consult with a family law attorney, one who has experience with battered women, abusive spouses and ex-spouses, etc., since such an attorney should know both the laws in this area--and can evaluate with you how they apply to your situation--and should also know the "temperment" of the local authorities and how seriously they take matters like this, which, unfortunately, is a consideration--some jurisdictions or towns will take action, others will ignore behavior like this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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