Divorce is a difficult process, filled with emotional turmoil and logistical hurdles. Unfortunately, for some individuals, the challenges extend beyond the courtroom. Harassment from a former spouse can be a real and frightening concern. If you’re going through a divorce in Texas and suspect you’re being harassed, it’s important to understand your rights and options.

What Constitutes Harassment After Divorce?

Harassment, in a legal sense, goes beyond mere annoyance or frustration. It’s a pattern of behavior that creates a hostile environment and causes a reasonable person to feel fear or intimidation. In Texas, harassment after divorce can take many forms, including:

  • Unwanted contact: This includes excessive phone calls, text messages, emails, or even showing up at your workplace or residence uninvited.
  • Threats: Verbal or written threats of violence, harm to property, or damage to your reputation can constitute harassment.
  • Cyberstalking: Online harassment through social media, email, or other digital means falls under this category.
  • Malicious damage: Vandalizing your property or damaging your belongings can be considered harassment.
  • Spying: Monitoring your movements or activities through GPS tracking or other means is a form of harassment.

For example, a recent client of mine we’ll call Sarah approached us for help getting a protective order. After her divorce was finalized, her former spouse continued to contact Sarah excessively. He sent her numerous text messages and emails every day, often filled with insults and accusations. He showed up at her workplace unannounced, causing a scene in front of her colleagues.

This is a classic case of harassment.

Protecting Yourself from Harassment

If you’re experiencing any of the behaviors listed above, there are steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Document everything: Keep a detailed record of all harassing incidents. This includes dates, times, specific details of the harassment (e.g., content of messages, threats made), and any screenshots or recordings you can capture.
  • Increase security: Change your locks, passwords, and security settings on social media accounts. Consider obtaining a restraining order if the harassment is severe or makes you feel unsafe.
  • Limit contact: Avoid responding to harassing messages or engaging with your ex. This may be difficult, but it can help reduce the behavior. Consider using communication methods such as co-parenting apps if there are children; otherwise, consider blocking their number.
  • Seek legal counsel: An experienced family law attorney can advise you on your legal options and help you file for a restraining order if necessary.

Restraining Orders in Texas

A restraining order is a court order that prohibits your ex from contacting you or coming near you. There are two main types of restraining orders in Texas:

  • Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): This can be obtained quickly in emergency situations and lasts for a short period (typically 14 days).
  • Protective Order: This is a more permanent order that can be granted after a hearing.

Lundberg Law Can Help

Harassment after divorce is a serious issue. If you’re experiencing this type of behavior, don’t hesitate to take action. Contact our office today for a free consultation. We can help you understand your rights, explore legal options, and protect yourself from further harassment. Our experienced family law team is dedicated to helping clients navigate the complexities of divorce with compassion and expertise.

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