Legal Question in Family Law in Alabama

Violation from Protection from Abuse Order

My husband and I are going through a divorce. After my protection from abuse order I met with my husband several times, he led me to believe we were going to reconcile, and of course he would change. I found out later that he was tape recording me during these times. He has violated the order since then many times by threatening me with assets, etc., through a friend of ours. I have called the police a couple of times when he would drive into the private drive of the subdivision, or let my dogs out, or come in the house and take papers, all of which I can't prove. The police told me that if I file charges against him, I could go to jail also because I am also in violation of the order. I responded to his request for an uncontested divorce by saying that he had verball, emotionally and sexually abused me. He was suppose to receive his answer by the 14th of Jan. Since then, my husband has gone to my sister's ex boyfriend (custody battle)and told him my father said he would kill him. My father did say this several times, in a protective fatherly way. The ex boyfriend is now filing charges against my father, with my husband as a witness. Is this also violation of the Protection order, and what should I do at this point?

Asked on 1/18/07, 7:36 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bobbi McGehee Bobbi J. McGehee, Attorney at Law

Re: Violation from Protection from Abuse Order

1) It sounds as if your husband has a PFA out against you, too. If so, you must honor this order whether he honors your PFA against him or not.

2) Given the past domestic violence, I would urge you to get as close to a 50/50 split as possible, and go forward with an uncontested divorce. It will save you a great deal of money and emotional energy.

3) The break-ins can be stopped with a little hardware from a home improvements store -- such things as a chain/slide lock and locking devices that are attached to the bottom of the door. They are inexpensive, and the clerks can help you find the proper lock for your needs. Also, be sure all windows are locked and secured with a piece of wood jammed in the window diagonally, and remove valuables from the garage. If you have a computer and any credit card accounts, be certain you do not have automatic log-ins online where the password is automatically filled in by your computer; or your burglar will have access to your accounts.

4)You will be unable to get any police assistance for the break-ins, in my experience, without setting up a camera system and catching your husband breaking in on tape. Perhaps, you have a friend who is well-versed in electronics and willing to assist you in setting up such a system. Do keep in mind that the police will weary quickly of repeated reports.

5)As for the taping by your husband, you must ALWAYS assume you are being taped when speaking with your husband. It is also helpful to tape record him yourself if he has been threatening you or otherwise putting you in immediate fear of bodily harm. Simple tape recording devices for telephones and small enough for you to wear are available from your local Radio Shack. Please note: Taping a conversation in which you are a participant is legal in Alabama. If you are not participating in the conversation, it is illegal to tape record it. State laws will vary on this matter, so anyone from another state who reads this post must follow their own state's laws on tape recording.

6)Finally, as harsh as it might sound, your sister, her ex-boyfriend and your father are all adults and well capable of taking care of themselves. I don't think a judge would consider statements regarding killing another person as "fatherly," but that is NOT your problem. You already have your hands full.

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Answered on 1/18/07, 11:12 pm

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