While divorces are always considered messy and stressful, sometimes tensions get so bad that additional legal intervention is required. A high profile divorce in the Poughkeepsie area involved protective orders and other additional proceedings in Dutchess County.
County legislator caught in sexual harassment scandal
After a number of reports regarding sexual harassment emerged, Dutchess County legislator Joel Tyner and his wife agreed to separate. At least four women had come forward with reports of misconduct involving the politician in recent years. One of the stories included serious allegations of criminal assault.
Both parties had initially filed for, and obtained protective orders against each other. Tyler’s wife said the fact that she received 86 text messages within a short period of time prompted her to seek protection, especially because some of them contained threats. Tyler on the other hand claims his wife’s allegations were not true, and he wanted to get a protective order after she had pushed him. At some point in the following weeks, they both agreed to drop the orders and proceed with formal divorce filings. The couple is expecting a child, and Tyler’s wife plans to relocate to Oregon where she will give birth and raise the child on her own.
What is a protective order?
According to the state of New York’s courts website, a protective order is usually obtained when the court believes the behavior of one person is creating harm or threats to another. This is done for safety purposes, especially when there are ongoing issues with domestic violence, stalking, or other crimes. Family courts have specific rules for when they can issue these orders. The person needs to be either a spouse, family member, parent of the same child, or intimate partner. The order can be used to force someone to move out, pay support obligations, turn over weapons or firearms, or other specific instructions where the court will provide notice to the person who is the subject of the order. Because family court orders are considered civil matters, a person who violates the order will probably not be arrested, but they can be subject to additional sanctions.
Who is eligible for this kind of legal protection?
As the story above demonstrates, someone may want a protective order while a divorce is pending for physical protection or to avoid the inconvenience of unwanted and threatening communications. If the situation escalates into actual violence or criminal activity such as stealing, it is still possible to call the police and file criminal charges against the person who is subject to the order. They may be subjected to other penalties aside from their criminal case if they violate an order that is already in place. A violation of any order is considered is legally considered contempt.
Talk to a divorce lawyer
If you need help with getting a protective order or any other issues related to a pending divorce, there are attorneys available to speak with you. The Law Office of Danielle Fenichel can provide a free consultation that addresses a number of common concerns about family law and divorces.