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Destroying Property and Restraining Orders

Domestic Violence Restraining Order Attorneys Morris County NJWhen most people think of domestic violence and abuse, they most likely think of overt physical actions committed by one party against another. While such an action would certainly be considered domestic violence (given the two parties have one of the types of relationships described in the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA)), many people may not realize that many other actions such as emotional and economic abuse, harassment, and even damaging or the destruction of property can also be considered domestic violence.

In today’s article, we will focus specifically on how and when the destruction of property can be considered domestic violence, and the potential legal consequences associated with such actions including temporary and final restraining orders.

Mt. Olive Domestic Violence Attorneys Answer “Is the Destruction of My Property Domestic Violence?”

The NJ PDVA lists 18 different actions which, given a certain type of relationship between the involved parties, are considered acts of domestic violence. For a complete list of these 18 different domestic violence actions, please view our page on domestic violence.

However, as previously noted, in order for these actions to be considered domestic violence and not simply criminal acts, the person who committed the action needs to be at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor and have one of the following relationships to the victim:

  • A husband or wife
  • An estranged husband or wife
  • A divorce husband or wife
  • Be living in, or at one point in time have lived in, the same household as the victim
  • Any kind of romantic partner
  • A parent to a common child

Simply put, if your neighbor destroys or damages your property it will be viewed as an act of criminal mischief and the matter will be decided by a criminal court. On the other hand, if a roomate destroys or damages your property, you have the option of filing for a domestic violence restraining order in order in addition to pursuing criminal charges.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order Attorneys Morris County, NJ

If a person believes that acts of domestic violence and abuse are being committed against them (or their children), protection from these actions can be sought through a temporary restraining order (TRO). TRO’s can usually be secured with allegations of domestic violence alone, and can grant immediate relief from abuse by:

  • preventing the accused party from communicating with the plaintiff (and their family and employers as well in many situations)
  • preventing the accused party from coming within a certain distance of the plaintiff ((and their family and place of employment as well in many situations)
  • forcibly removing the accused party from a shared home (when applicable), even if that home is in the accused’s own name

However, TRO’s only last for about 10 days, at which point a final restraining order hearing will be held. Final restraining order hearings are extremely important for many reasons to both the accused party as well as the alleged victim, and it is highly recommended that anyone facing a FRO hearing retain the counsel of an experienced Morris County restraining order attorney as quickly as possible.

For more information regarding final restraining order hearings, what they entail, and why they are so important, please view our final restraining order page.

Damaging and Destroying Property, Chatham Domestic Violence Lawyers

Thanks to the unpublished decision in the recent case of H.C.F. v J.T.B, the idea that the destruction of property can be considered domestic violence was reaffirmed by the Trial Court as well as the Appellate Division.

This means that any actions which result in property destruction such as punching a wall or door, destroying an appliance or collectible, setting fire to valuables, etc etc can be considered domestic violence, regardless of whether the property in question is individually owned or jointly owned (as is the case with many marriages). So while criminal charges can be brought against the perpetrator of such actions in most circumstances, it may also be possible (given the right type of relationship between the involved parties) that a temporary restraining order is filed for and granted, something that can potentially result in a final restraining order being entered against the perpetrator as well.

Contact Our Morristown Restraining Order Attorneys Today

At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience successfully representing clients in all manner of family law matters (including domestic violence and restraining order hearings) in New Jersey and Morris County towns such as Chatham, Mt. Olive, Mendham, Morristown, Chester, Morris Plains, and Morris Township.

If you are suffering from any kind of domestic violence or abuse, or you have been falsely accused of domestic violence and abuse, our firm is prepared to provide you with the effective, knowledgeable, attentive, and compassionate legal service that you need and deserve during such delicate and important matters, especially when it comes to any kind of final restraining order hearing.

To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding any kind of domestic violence or restraining order matter you may be facing, or any other kind of family law matter, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 828-0829.

Understanding Permanent Alimony and Open Duration Alimony

One of the most commonly misunderstood legal terms is that of “permanent alimony”, and this misunderstanding is what to its name being changed to “open duration alimony” as part of New Jersey’s 2014 Alimony Reform Act. Introducing a variety of changes to New Jersey alimony laws, changing the legal name of permanent alimony to open… Continue Reading

Cohabitation; Post-Divorce Modifications and Agreements

Increasingly, adults are choosing to enter into “marital-style” relationships while remaining legally unmarried. This kind of relationship is referred to legally as “cohabitation”, and cohabitation can have a number of implications to existing divorce agreements such as alimony and child support. These implications come in the form of post-divorce modifications, specifically in the way that… Continue Reading

How Much Will My Divorce Cost?

Understandably, one of our Morris County divorce clients’ main concerns is that of the cost of their divorce. Unlike personal injury law for example, where most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, New Jersey Court Rules prohibit divorce attorneys from charging their clients in such a fashion. This means that divorce attorneys instead need… Continue Reading

Divorce: Changing Your Perspective and Improving Your Life

While the word “divorce” certainly carries a somewhat negative connotation in our society, the fact of the matter is that a divorce is often an extremely healthy thing for a person involved in an unhappy or angry relationship to pursue. Certainly, some divorces will be “easier” than others depending on the method used (alternative dispute… Continue Reading

The Pitfalls of Collaborative Family Law

Thanks to the 2015 amendment to Court Rule Court Rule 5:4-2, it is now not only mandatory that parties filing for/receiving a divorce complaint be notified as to the availability of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods of mediation and arbitration, but now mandatory that the ADR method of collaboration also be included in this list. While we… Continue Reading

Should I Try to Save My Marriage, or File for a Divorce?

When working with our Morris County divorce clients, one of the most common questions they have for us is if we think they should actually pursue a divorce, or try to save their marriage. Unfortunately, there is usually no easy or one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Of course, if one partner has a new romantic… Continue Reading

Arbitration in Family Law Disputes

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) method of arbitration is quickly becoming a very popular way to resolve not only divorces and their related issues of child custody, child support, alimony, and marital asset division, but also to resolve almost any other family law dispute as well. When it comes to ADR methods, arbitration stands out… Continue Reading

Temporary Child Custody during Divorce

While one of the most important agreements you will need to reach during your Morris County divorce is that of a child custody and visitation agreement, many times how child custody should be handled during the divorce itself is unclear for the parents, or in dispute. When this is the case, either parent may file… Continue Reading

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