Police involvement during a divorce is not unusual, but if you are a person who has never contacted the police for any reason other than to report a traffic accident, knowing when to call the police is hard. No one wants to call the police for a reason that they believe will be considered frivolous, but failing to call law enforcement when they are needed can place a person in a dangerous situation. Knowing when you should involve the police in your divorce can help keep you and your loved ones safe during a very difficult period in your life.
Any incident of domestic violence that involves you or your children should receive police attention. If your spouse has become physically violent or threatening towards any member of your family, calling the police is the first step that you should take to protect yourself. Once the police have arrived and documented the situation, contact your attorney. Depending on the situation, you may be advised to obtain an emergency restraining order to keep your spouse from coming to your shared home or near your children. Protective orders can also keep you safe from retaliatory actions such as turning off utilities in your home, repossessing a vehicle, or disconnecting cell phone service.
Child Safety Concerns
Temporary custody orders are often granted during a divorce to allow a child to spend time with both parents before a final custody agreement is created. At times one or both parents may object to the visitation schedule or primary custody decisions, but they are forced to comply. If you are concerned about the safety of your child while they are with your former spouse, it is possible to request a child welfare check. Typically, these checks are performed after a call is placed to the police department’s nonemergency line. Requesting a child welfare check is a good idea if your ex is not answering phone calls, your child is not where your ex told you he or she would be, or your ex is late returning your child to your home after a scheduled visit.
Court Order Violations
If your divorce has reached the point at which orders have been issued regarding custody, property ownership, etc. and your spouse is willfully violating those orders, calling the police might become necessary. Situations such as your spouse refusing to comply with custody orders by attempting to take your children outside of agreed-upon times, going to a child’s school when he or she is not allowed to, or not surrendering property could lead to police involvement. In situations in which you do not believe you are under immediate threat of harm, contacting your attorney prior to calling the police could help defuse the situation, but if you are unable to reach your attorney oryour attorney advises you to call the police, do not hesitate.
Vayman & Teitelbaum
The family law attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand how stressful a high-conflict divorce can become. We are ready to work with you to reach a resolution while keeping you and your family safe from a volatile ex-spouse. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation at one of our Atlanta, Georgia offices so that we can begin providing you with the legal advice that you need.