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AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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I am in the process of getting a divorce from my wife which

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I am in the process of getting a divorce from my wife which has not been filed yet. We have 2 children together and share custody which was setup by us and is not court ordered. I have recently moved into a new apartment where I bring the kids to spend time with me but I do not want to give her my new address because I believe she will come here unannounced or possible cause vandalism to my car as I am the one that left her and she is quite mad about it. Do I have to give her my new address? I am in Oregon.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your inquiry! I have been practicing family law for 17+ years and have specific experience with issues like yours. That being said... Yes, you can do this and it is fairly simple. See below:

I am in the process of getting a divorce from my wife which has not been filed yet. We have 2 children together and share custody which was setup by us and is not court ordered. I have recently moved into a new apartment where I bring the kids to spend time with me but I do not want to give her my new address because I believe she will come here unannounced or possible cause vandalism to my car as I am the one that left her and she is quite mad about it. Do I have to give her my new address? I am in Oregon.

 

In Oregon, you can use a contact address on your papers. When you file your dissolution papers, you will mark "withheld" in the places you would have filled in your residential address. With your dissolution filing, you will file a request (Ex Parte Motion) to have this particular address information undisclosed. Here are the directions and the forms. You will want to get a non-disclosure Order from the Judge to ensure that you have waived personal service, and to make sure the court and the other party no how and where to serve you. Typically, it would be to a different contact address and by certified mail, r.r.r.


Of course, normally a parent could demand that she know where her children will be staying, so she can be assured it is in a suitable neighborhood, clean, safe, etc. So if she demands that, you will likely have to convince the court that you are in danger or that she IS otherwise being unreasonable. If you already have a restraining order, that would be helpful, or if there were prior 911 calls due to her dangerous behavior, that would be helpful. Unannounced appearances are not illegal, of course, but could be if they became harassing. (And certainly keying your car would not be permitted.) A court will likely not order non-disclosure of where her children will be spending their time based on your fears if there is no reasonable basis for those concerns because this would be akin to a prior restraint on your wife's freedoms to come and go. Of course, you are not required to let her IN your home. But if she has an established history of violence or destruction of your property, that is a number one reason for an order.

 


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Alexia Esq.



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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for answer. I am wondering about right now though. As in before any paperwork is filed she just wants my address. We live 15min from each other and just would like to not be harassed although there is nothing prior but know it is possible. I am just wondering if I can not tell her or if legally because our kids are staying here with me I have to.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.

Your Expert is currently offline. I have sent her a message that you are waiting for additional information. As soon as she gets back online, she would respond to you.


Thank you for your patience.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am not sure what further information you need

Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 1 year ago.
Good morning, and nice to see you again! And thank you for your follow up. With regard to same:

Thank you for answer. Very welcome.

I am wondering about right now though. As in before any paperwork is filed she just wants my address. You have NO obligations unless and until a Court Order says you must provide.

We live 15min from each other and just would like to not be harassed although there is nothing prior but know it is possible. Just so you are aware, the "it is possible" rationale, although very true (and really not that infrequent) may not be enough for a Judge to later Order this non-disclosure when she indicates she must know where here children will be spending much time. If harassment being a mere possibility were a basis for the non-disclosure, then she could move and get an Order that you are not permitted to know where the children are staying when they are with her (and who else she may live with). You see? You can try it, just don't be too surprised if it doesn't pan out. If she does end up harassing you, you can THEN make a motion for non-disclosure of your new place, if you feel force to move.

I am just wondering if I can not tell her As of now, yes - as a parent you have entirely equal rights at all times since there is no court order to the contrary and your private custody agreement is not binding in the same sense as a court order (nor is the court bound by it)...

or if legally because our kids are staying here with me I have to.
Nope, not til later, and then only if the Court orders it.

I can say, however, that if you have no real basis for assuming she will be abusive, starting the divorce this way can often be the start of an extremely acrimonious divorce and custody battle. It is high risk. And, it may very well (possibly likely) cause her to chuck the private agreement, which probably doesn't say she agrees to remain unaware of her children's whereabouts despite her never having been abusive - leaving you two with the difficult task of fighting a custody arrangment in court (as opposed to agreeing and having a judge likely order your agreement as a done deal).

Also, if you don't provide the location the children will be staying at (and let her see it), I can foresee a motion by her (even pre-divorce complaint, but certainly after) asking the court to Order that you advise her of this basic information and that until you do, she keeps the kids and you get supervised visitation not at your home. So, again, while you are not legally bound to tell her now, since you don't have a real basis for thinking it likely she will harass you, if she makes a motion, it may very well be granted and you will have to tell her later.


AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11714
Experience: 19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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