Do You Need an Order of Protection on Long Island?
As a Divorce Lawyer on Long Island, I’ve seen that some Nassau County and Suffolk County Divorces proceed quickly and smoothly; the parties agree on everything, their divorce attorney drafts the necessary paperwork, the parties execute all documents and the paperwork is submitted to the Court in Nassau County or Suffolk County. This is the desire of the majority of clients who walk into my office, and I am more than pleased when their matter proceeds as described.
However, a number of my Long Island divorce clients cases precede nothing like the above, and at times, spouses may be afraid of one another. If you find yourself in a situation where you are in fear for the safety of yourself or your children as a result of your spouse’s actions, the following are the most common routes to ensure you and your children are protected.
1. Call the local police department. If you find yourself in the midst of an argument with your spouse and you begin to fear for either your physical or mental well-being, dial 911 and call the police immediately. Upon the police’s arrival, they will take what is called a Domestic Incident Report. You will be the complainant, and the police will ask you for a description of the event, or events, that took place. While you may hope your spouse gets arrested on that spot, his or her arrest will depend upon the severity of the incident. But do not lie about what occurred in the hopes you will get your spouse thrown in jail. Be truthful and honest, as you may be required to annex a domestic incident report as an exhibit in a later court filing.
2. File for an Order of Protection in Nassau County or Suffolk County Family Court. If your spouse’s troublesome behavior is routine and consistent you may file for an Order of Protection in the Family Court of the county in which you reside. There are two types of orders of protection: a Stay Away and a Refrain From.
a. A Stay Away order of protection directs the subject of the order to “stay away from” the petitioner’s residence, place of employment and the petitioner themselves. If you are granted a “stay away” order of protection against your spouse, he or she will be required to vacate the marital residence.
b. A Refrain From order of protection directs the subject to “refrain from” engaging in the behaviors which brought the matter in front of the Family Court in the first place. If you are granted a “refrain from”, your spouse is not required to vacate the marital residence, however, if they violate the order, you can call the police who will likely arrest your spouse for said violation.
3. File in the Supreme Court for Exclusive Use and Occupancy of the Marital Residence. At times, I will direct clients to file for an order of protection in Nassau County or Suffolk County Family Court and they will either be denied said order or receive a refrain from. On occasion, clients are satisfied with the refrain from order, however, some are still in fear of their spouse’s behavior and want to know what other remedies are available to them.
My next step in these instances is to file an Order to Show Cause for Exclusive Use and Occupancy of the Marital Residence in the Supreme Court. This is a motion which, if granted by the judge, provides the relief requested immediately. This will also ensure that your spouse can no longer enter the marital residence. Generally, parties are not required to appear on the initial date of filing of an Order to Show Cause; however, the Judge may require a party’s appearance in extreme cases. If you previously filed domestic incident reports or orders of protection against your spouse, these will most likely be annexed to the motion as an exhibit.
If you are going through a Nassau County or Suffolk County Divorce and are afraid of your spouse make sure you speak to your Long Island Divorce Attorney about the remedies available to you. Divorce cases are not one size fits all, and therefore what was appropriate in your friend or family member’s matter may not be appropriate for your case.
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