If your spouse or ex-spouse is harassing you, here are some things you can do to stop it or limit its effect on you.
In New York, “harassment” is defined in the Penal Law, and it is strictly defined. What most people think is “harassing” may not qualify as “harassment” under the criminal law.
If you believe your spouse or ex-spouse is harassing you or guilty of harassment, you can seek an Order of Protection or call the police. Certainly, if there is any type of physical abuse, physical contact or the threat of physical contact, you should call the police immediately.
If your spouse/ex-spouse’s action do not qualify as criminal “harassment”, you still may be able to stop or at least limit his/her actions.
If the harassing actions are too many phone calls or too many text messages, then you may need to counteract then with the following actions.
Too many phone calls: You can change your phone number and not give it to your spouse or ex-spouse. If you have children and your spouse/ex-spouse needs to contact you about the children, there are some programs out there that can help. One program is called “Family Wizard”, but, there are other similar programs.
Too many text messages: Same as too many phone calls, get a new cell phone number.
Coming to your residence: Unless there is a bona fide reason for your spouse/ex-spouse to be at your residence, you should call the police and document that he/she is at your residence. If this behavior continues, you may be able to get an Order of Protection which will order your spouse/ex-spouse not to come to your residence.
Following you: If your spouse/ex-spouse is following you, then you should call the police.
In all the above situations, you should keep a log (diary) of what your spouse/ex-spouse is doing. If you file for an Order of Protection, then you should be able to submit your log as evidence. If there is a criminal case, then your log may be used as evidence.
David Badanes, Esq. has helped numerous individuals get divorced and in dealing with harassing spouses/ex-spouse. You can contact the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
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