Dealing with a Restraining Order and a Criminal Charge During a New Jersey Divorce

Divorce can be difficult for those involved in it. This is particularly true when the spouses have children and the divorce is contentious. Often, going through the divorce process can seriously affect both spouses’ stress levels and emotional health. In addition, if both parties are in heated and violent altercations, physical health also becomes a problem. Also, the safety of the children may be a big concern. This is the reason one party in a divorce may seek a restraining order in New Jersey or bring criminal charges against their spouse. 

Whether you want to obtain a restraining order or are a subject of a restraining order, you must speak with a skilled lawyer to protect your rights and help you understand your legal options. Read on to know how restraining orders and criminal charges often happen during divorces in New Jersey:

How a Person Can be Charged with a Crime During Divorce

In New Jersey, the police often err on the side of caution when they get calls related to domestic violence. As a result, they will usually arrest the person accused of domestic violence. During a divorce, the common criminal charges include accusations of threatening or violent behavior from a spouse. Usually, these charges include harassment, trespassing, criminal mischief, simple assault, possession of a weapon, and terroristic threats. 

Acts of domestic violence can include actual violence, physical aggression, verbal threats, emotional abuse, and intimidation. Sometimes, a person can face criminal charges for damaging property that the accuser owns. And as a lot of such charges are indictable offenses, the accused can be subject to serious prison time when convicted. 

What to Do If You are a Subject of a Restraining Order

Restraining orders are civil matters. Because of this, the Superior Court Family Division handles them. In domestic violence cases, the restraining order that’s often issued is called a temporary restraining order or TRO. With this order, the subject may be prohibited from contacting the accuser or their children. 

Some predicate acts can offer grounds for restraining orders. These acts can also result in criminal charges against the accused person. These acts include assault, kidnapping, terroristic threats, sexual assault, criminal restraint, stalking, harassment, and criminal mischief. 

If you are facing domestic violence charges and have been a subject of a TRO, a final restraining order or FRO hearing should be held within ten days to know if it’s necessary to issue the FRO. You want a competent attorney to help you navigate the challenges related to a restraining order or criminal charges to avoid the serious consequences of a FRO and a criminal conviction.