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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1627
Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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I recently had to file my second protective order in three

Customer Question

Hi there,
I recently had to file my second protective order in three months. I have been married for ten years and the abuse only started six months ago when my husband developed an addiction and quit working. We have two children and I was fearful that his rage was about to really hurt me. All violence was in the form of threats, breaking or destroying my belongings, taking phone. Keys, money, ect. My kids witnessed it all. I do not and have never wanted a divorce nor do I want my kids to be deprived of their father. I want help! Is there any other legal form I can use to come to an agreement prior to the ex party hearing. Williamson County TN
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the opportunity to assist you. I'm sorry for what you're going through.

Q) Is there any other legal form I can use to come to an agreement prior to the ex parte hearing?

Unfortunately, no. An agreement is the result of negotiation between two people who have at least some shared interests. You can't force people to agree. If your husband doesn't think he has a drug problem, or feels justified by his actions, or doesn't have a sincere interest in rehab and reconciling with you, there is no agreement to be reached. Your only choice is to go forward as you're doing now.

Keep in mind the children, too. You don't want child protective services coming in and claiming you're unfit to parent (and consequently take custody of your kids) if you don't keep them safe from their father. He's obviously got some problems, especially since you've had two protective orders in 3 months. He has to work out those "demons" on his own. But your obligation is to protect the children now, and a secondary concern should be the marriage. You don't want to try and reconcile, have this happen all over again, and then have your kids removed because CPS claims you're choosing him over the children.

Hopefully your husband will agree to treatment and try to stop using drugs. People do recover from addiction. But, for rehab to work, he has to want to recover. You can't force him to agree to do that or to act in a civilized manner toward you and the kids.

I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. I'll get back to you as quickly as I can, although I may not be online at the moment you respond. Otherwise, I hope you will rate my answer positively as that is the ONLY way I receive credit for my work, and doing so will NOT cost you an additional fee.

Best wishes to you,
Shuband

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for the clear response. My husband has an attorney, and I do not. He also (as you guessed) has not admitted to the abuse or apologized. In his mind, I am at fault for this extreme decision and "am cruely keeping his kids away"
This has caused me extreme stress, because it is so far from the truth. I do not want to damage his record permanently, especially since I am seeking for him to stop abuse and get treatment. I know there must be some way with an attorney to roll the protective order into a civil agreement similar to a divorce agreement. I want the option for him to visit the kids supervised at our home, not to come back home without consequences for this behavior. I would like to offer voluntary treatment for anger and substance abuse for a period of time in hopes of restoring our family unit after completion and not until he has proven change. Basically, I want to offer a settlement agreement To his attorney PRIOR to requesting these things be forced by a PO with have legal ramifications for years to come. Please help me find the form I can use to remain protection without the PO.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, you are not the first to mention Cps getting involved. I am not at all understanding how this could be. I have protected them always and they have never been abused..however, I do recognize that witnessing my abuse was just as damaging. Asking that my husband legally agree to treatment before returning home, in hopes of the restoration of my family can cause cps to view me as a parent who is failing to Protect? This seems to discourage domestic abuse victims to report abuse if they want treatment vs. complete severing of all ties.
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the update.

As for having an attorney, you can ask the judge to make your husband pay an attorney for you, especially if he was the primary income earner in your marriage. Many attorneys will at least talk to you and see if this is a viable option in your case. So, look around. Your chances of success, however that's defined, will be higher with an attorney at your side. You could also contact TN Legal Aid. They offer free or low cost legal services for folks who qualify financially.

I understand that you don't want to cause your husband to have a criminal record or get in trouble, but unless he's willing to ask for help himself, there's not much you can do other than protect yourself and your kids. You can't force him to accept help. If he doesn't think he has a problem, he's not going to voluntarily agree to treatment, counseling etc., no matter how much good that would do for you and him and the family generally. Until HE wants that, you don't really have much control over his decisions in this regard.

As for supervised visitation, that's a good idea. I would not be there, however. If I were you, I'd ask for the visitation to occur somewhere that is supervised but where you are not present. It's just asking for trouble.

Regarding the protection order, you can get a civil protection order, but it results in the same thing - if he violates the order, he could be held in contempt of court and/or arrested. I'd stick with the order for the time being.

Finally, the children. I mention CPS (as others have also, apparently) because I've seen the scenario I warned you about happen many times. Here's an example: mother and father live with children. Father gets angry and hits mother. Children see it. Mother is a victim at this point, since this is the first time father has hit her. Children are also victims in a way, since they shouldn't be subjected to such things.

Imagine if this abuse happens day after day, every day. Now, mother is not a victim, she's a willing participant. ANY court is going to look at this latter scenario and decide that the mother has failed to protect her children and that the children should be removed. That's because mother is allowing herself to remain in a situation where she's abused, the children see it, the children shouldn't be involved in this sort of scenario, and the children don't have any choice to get out - but the mother does. It's the mother's responsibility (in this scenario) to get the children away from the abusive, unhealthy living situation.

Adults can choose to be in an abusive relationship if they want. If mother and father (above) had no children, it's perfectly fine for her to remain and be abused, if that's her voluntary choice. (I doubt it would be truly coluntary.) But children don't have a choice, so it's up to the parent to think of the children first, not what the parent wants.

In your particular scenario, you've had two protective orders taken out in nearly as many months. Both a court and CPS are going to question whether you're willing to protect the children (and consequently yourself) from the abuses you've suffered. If they perceive you're choosing the husband over the kids, they may remove your kids.

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but this is a harsh reality. It doesn't mean you and the husband can't EVER reconcile and get back together. You may be able to in the future. But if he's not willing to seek help right now, and doesn't think he has a problem, you need to set him aside and focus on the welfare of the children and yourself over the marriage.

Thanks again for the opportunity to assist you. Please let me know if you need clarification. I'll get back to you as quickly as I can, although I may not be online at the moment you respond. Otherwise, I hope you'll rate my answer positively as it is the ONLY way I receive credit for my work and doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Best wishes,
Shuband

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much. I don't mind hearing the harsh truth if it is what I need to know to protect my kids. I think I struggle because it was verbal and emotional not physical. It also has been short term in relation to our ten year marriage. Does cps find emotional and verbal abuse of the other parent in front of kids during an isolated season in life the same as the situation you describe above. I agree entirely with witnessing a mother being hit day in and day out, that the children should be removed. I think the are of non physical abuse and threats can be gray. The question on how CPS responds to this type of abuse is all I have questions on.
Thank you so very much. I will rate you as high as possible. Thank you
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thanks so much for your kind words.

There's no guarantee CPS will get involved. They do look more closely at physical versus psychological or verbal abuse, even though the latter can be just as damaging.

But, if CPS does poke their nose in your business, you want to make sure you keep custody of the kids. So, I'd err on the side of caution for now and focus solely on them and yourself. If your husband wants to reconcile, makes a genuine effort and addressing his addiction issues, seeks counseling, etc., there's always the possibility that you and he can reunite as a family in the future. Keep that as a longer term big picture goal, and focus on the immediate right now - you and the little ones.

Thanks again for the opportunity to assist you. Please let me know if you need clarification. I'll get back to you as quickly as I can, although I may not be online at the moment you respond. Otherwise, I hope you'll rate my answer positively as it is the ONLY way I receive credit for my work and doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Best wishes,
Shuband