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Is an order of protection against an ex wife appropriate?

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Clarkal193

New member
What is the name of your state? New York State
So my husband was married once before, the marriage ended in divorce in 2012. My husband and I got together two years after his divorce was finalized, she had married shortly after the divorce and had two children, she and my husband never had children together. Fast forward to today and I have two children with my husband, we live in a small town and frequently run into her and her family. She has found little ways to keep in contact with my husband and I, she will ask if she left things behind in our home, for example. Recently she even called my husband at work wondering if she could have the ashes of a dog that they had while they were together.
Yesterday we were at a local benefit and she and her family were there too, and she had been drinking. My oldest son asked to use the bathroom and my husband volunteered to take him, while they were waiting in line to go she appeared and confronted my husband asking for his forgiveness and wanting to be friends and contact each other more. My husband said no and went to wait at another port o' potty, she followed behind playing with my sons hair and asking him questions. My husband asked her politely to leave them alone and she refused, following them to the potty. At this point, my husband put down our son and turned to call out to me to come help him, when he put my son down his ex wife took our son by the hand and led him off. When my husband turned back around he caught her and asked what she was doing, she said she was just taking him to the bathroom for us.

This concerned me for a number of reasons, but I kept my head as it was all happening and just picked my son up and left with my husband. So my question is, is it too unrealistic and over the top to consider an order of protection against her? Just to keep her from contacting us or making contact with us in public?
 


quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? New York State
So my husband was married once before, the marriage ended in divorce in 2012. My husband and I got together two years after his divorce was finalized, she had married shortly after the divorce and had two children, she and my husband never had children together. Fast forward to today and I have two children with my husband, we live in a small town and frequently run into her and her family. She has found little ways to keep in contact with my husband and I, she will ask if she left things behind in our home, for example. Recently she even called my husband at work wondering if she could have the ashes of a dog that they had while they were together.
Yesterday we were at a local benefit and she and her family were there too, and she had been drinking. My oldest son asked to use the bathroom and my husband volunteered to take him, while they were waiting in line to go she appeared and confronted my husband asking for his forgiveness and wanting to be friends and contact each other more. My husband said no and went to wait at another port o' potty, she followed behind playing with my sons hair and asking him questions. My husband asked her politely to leave them alone and she refused, following them to the potty. At this point, my husband put down our son and turned to call out to me to come help him, when he put my son down his ex wife took our son by the hand and led him off. When my husband turned back around he caught her and asked what she was doing, she said she was just taking him to the bathroom for us.

This concerned me for a number of reasons, but I kept my head as it was all happening and just picked my son up and left with my husband. So my question is, is it too unrealistic and over the top to consider an order of protection against her? Just to keep her from contacting us or making contact with us in public?
Based on what you have described, I don't believe you have enough to support an order of protection.

If she contacts you or your husband again, outside any normal cordial social greetings, your husband should make it clear to her that this type of contact needs to stop.

If that doesn't work to stop her from annoying you or your family, your husband could have an attorney send her a cease and desist letter.

If at any time you or members of your family fear for your safety, you should call the police.

It sounds as if her current marriage might be crumbling and she is looking to reconnect with your husband.
 

t74

Member
Until you stated that she took your child's hand and walked off with him, I thought you were overreacting. Why did you not report the this to security at the time?

I believe you should be proactive since she did take your child without permission albeit not very far. I do not know the proper course of action, but IIWY I would call your police non-emergency number and discuss it with the desk sargent. I would also make certain that the schools and scaregivers have a current authorized pickup list and instructions that under no circumstances is anyone else to get the cildren.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
You might also want to tell your children not to go off with anyone without your knowledge or consent.
But the children, per OP's posting, must be VERY young...like 3 or 4. You can tell them about stranger danger...or ex wife danger...and they will forget it within an hour. :(

IMO she and her hubby should have the C&D letter sent right away and if she STILL bothers them, go for an no contact order. Hubby might want to ask ex's husband to have a talk with her about her unwanted and untoward behavior.

The ex taking the child by the hand is...concerning. Her excuse for why she did it was lame.
 

quincy

Senior Member
But the children, per OP's posting, must be VERY young...like 3 or 4. You can tell them about stranger danger...or ex wife danger...and they will forget it within an hour.

IMO she and her hubby should have the C&D letter sent right away and if she STILL bothers them, go for an no contact order. Hubby might want to ask ex's husband to have a talk with her about her unwanted and untoward behavior.

The ex taking the child by the hand is...concerning. Her excuse for why she did it was lame.
Here is a link to the various protection orders in New York:
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
What is the name of your state? New York State
So my husband was married once before, the marriage ended in divorce in 2012. My husband and I got together two years after his divorce was finalized, she had married shortly after the divorce and had two children, she and my husband never had children together. Fast forward to today and I have two children with my husband, we live in a small town and frequently run into her and her family. She has found little ways to keep in contact with my husband and I, she will ask if she left things behind in our home, for example. Recently she even called my husband at work wondering if she could have the ashes of a dog that they had while they were together.
Yesterday we were at a local benefit and she and her family were there too, and she had been drinking. My oldest son asked to use the bathroom and my husband volunteered to take him, while they were waiting in line to go she appeared and confronted my husband asking for his forgiveness and wanting to be friends and contact each other more. My husband said no and went to wait at another port o' potty, she followed behind playing with my sons hair and asking him questions. My husband asked her politely to leave them alone and she refused, following them to the potty. At this point, my husband put down our son and turned to call out to me to come help him, when he put my son down his ex wife took our son by the hand and led him off. When my husband turned back around he caught her and asked what she was doing, she said she was just taking him to the bathroom for us.

This concerned me for a number of reasons, but I kept my head as it was all happening and just picked my son up and left with my husband. So my question is, is it too unrealistic and over the top to consider an order of protection against her? Just to keep her from contacting us or making contact with us in public?
Ditto Just Blue's advice on your husband sending her a Cease and Desist letter. In this letter, sent certified mail, it should simply be stated that no more contact from her is wanted, and that further contact will result in legal measures. If you have a friend that's a member of the NY bar they can advise you one how to make it sound all nice and official.

After that, block her, unfriend her, whatever you feel the need to do in order to discourage contact.

Start documenting, as factually and dispassionately as possible any further contact.

Anything that seems threatening (touching your child, for example) merits a police report, at this point.

And thanks @quincy for including the link.

A caveat on obtaining an Order of Protection: my observation in NY state has been, at least in my county, that the behavior has to rise to the level of threatening - annoying isn't enough. It doesn't take much to get an ex parte TRO (emergency temporary restraining order), but if the other party wants to legally fight it from becoming a final order, there has to actually be some proof that there is a threat. FWIW, I consider the ex-wife touching your child's hair and trying to lead him away to be threatening, but an actual judge might see things differently.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Ditto Just Blue's advice on your husband sending her a Cease and Desist letter. In this letter, sent certified mail, it should simply be stated that no more contact from her is wanted, and that further contact will result in legal measures. If you have a friend that's a member of the NY bar they can advise you one how to make it sound all nice and official.

After that, block her, unfriend her, whatever you feel the need to do in order to discourage contact.

Start documenting, as factually and dispassionately as possible any further contact.

Anything that seems threatening (touching your child, for example) merits a police report, at this point.

And thanks @quincy for including the link.

A caveat on obtaining an Order of Protection: my observation in NY state has been, at least in my county, that the behavior has to rise to the level of threatening - annoying isn't enough. It doesn't take much to get an ex parte TRO (emergency temporary restraining order), but if the other party wants to legally fight it from becoming a final order, there has to actually be some proof that there is a threat. FWIW, I consider the ex-wife touching your child's hair and trying to lead him away to be threatening, but an actual judge might see things differently.
I don't see enough to support an order of protection.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
The story we are hearing is second-hand. I can't see a father setting his child down long enough to lose site and allow someone else to walk off with him during what is supposed to be a high-tension incident.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
I don't see enough to support an order of protection.
Nor do I, hence my caveat.

While I feel for OP, the ex-wife's actions have not turned unambiguously threatening.

And Family Court is very different from Criminal Court. The husband, were he so inclined, might go through Family Court. However, OP and her child are not the ex-wife's family.

However, a well worded Cease and Desist letter can scare some people into behaving better.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
I find the whole thing to be very weird. I agree that its a bit disturbing that she took off (albeit a very short distance) with the child but since she has two children of her own, it's unlikely that it's any kind of obsession because she and the OP's husband never had any children. I suspect that the behavior was due to the fact that she had been drinking and will therefore be mortified if she gets a cease and desist letter and will never bother them again.
 

t74

Member
I find the whole thing to be very weird. I agree that its a bit disturbing that she took off (albeit a very short distance) with the child but since she has two children of her own, it's unlikely that it's any kind of obsession because she and the OP's husband never had any children. I suspect that the behavior was due to the fact that she had been drinking and will therefore be mortified if she gets a cease and desist letter and will never bother them again.
I can see dads putting a child down in a seemingly contained environment and not holding the child's hand continuously. There was no reason to be hyper-vigilant at that time.

If someone drinks to the extent that they would behave inappropriately at an event where there are children, their behavior is unpredictable at best and potentially dangerous.,

I am glad several posters had recommendations for OP. If the two families have children about the same ages and live in a relatively small town, as the children get older, they are likely to meet at events - ball games, the fair, scout camps, ... There need to be boundries established now.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
I can see dads putting a child down in a seemingly contained environment and not holding the child's hand continuously. There was no reason to be hyper-vigilant at that time.

If someone drinks to the extent that they would behave inappropriately at an event where there are children, their behavior is unpredictable at best and potentially dangerous.,

I am glad several posters had recommendations for OP. If the two families have children about the same ages and live in a relatively small town, as the children get older, they are likely to meet at events - ball games, the fair, scout camps, ... There need to be boundries established now.
Which is why I agree that a cease and desist letter is a good step. Like I said, if she was drinking too much that day she will probably be mortified if she gets a cease and desist letter and will accept those boundries on her own. If she doesn't, then the OP can take further steps.
 

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