Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting
You are basically talking about two separate orders. A restraining
order restricts a person from doing something in particular or from
committing an act(s). An injunction may restrict or mandate someone
to do something specifically ordered by a court, either at the courts
behest or on behalf of a petitioner (which would be you).
Examples of a restraining order might be an court order in which your
spouse is restricted from liquidating assets, selling or destroying
property, harassing behavior, having contact with you and/or your
family members and so on. Restraining orders are usually temporary and
expire after a certain amount of time.
Examples of an injunction might be an court order in which your spouse
is mandated to move out of the house, give up physical possession of
property (land, cars, dog, whatever). Injunctions can be either
temporary or permanent.
Both of these orders frequently have similar power of the other. For
example, assuming she is ordered to move out of the home you share,
either order might say something to the affect of you are ordered to
remain at least 100 yards from the petitioners house, property or
place of business. Since the house you once shared also belonged to
her prior to the order, this order (regardless of which kind of order
it is) is both mandatory and restrictive. But for the sake of
knowing which is which, refer to the common usage of these orders as I
have outlined above.
A person who violates a court order is in contempt of court. The
restrained person found in violation of a valid restraining order may
be arrested, taken to jail and made to post bond (if any is
applicable). In addition, the offender can be charged with a
misdemeanor or a felony crime, and could be sentenced to serve time in
jail and to pay a fine, not only for being in contempt of court, but
also for committing the offense (like harassment, for example).
I imagine that you will find these very informative sites:
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Now this is a very important point so pay close attention. Most
restraining orders and injunctions are issued pending a hearing or
other court action. The purpose of these orders is to maintain the
peace until such time as the matter can be permanently settled, either
by agreement of the two parties, third party arbitration or a decision
by a court with jurisdiction over family law. In some jurisdictions,
any contact initiated by the petitioner (you) with the defendant (your
wife) could void the courts order. If you are going to consult your
attorney anyway, be sure to ask him/her about this. The reason I
mentioned it is because some courts will not issue any type of
injunction or restraining order against two people who are voluntarily
cohabitating, as this (again, in some jurisdictions) in itself
violates the very premise of the order. If your state is one of these,
it will probably be necessary for you and your wife to physically
separate in order to for your request for the order to be granted.
Then again, separation will also solve most of your problems, with the
exception of who maintains physical control of the house in which you
now live. This can be addressed, temporarily at least, by filing for
divorce and petitioning the court to grant you temporary custody of
the home until a hearing to determine which of the two of you gets to
keep it or whether it should be sold. The court bases this decision on
a number of factors, a few of which are finances, which of you owned
the home prior to the marriage, if the home has any value in terms of
family history more specific to one of you than the other (like if the
home was been passed down to you by inheritance and has been for
generations) the comfort and interest of the children, etc.
It should also be noted that mere the process of filing for divorce,
by itself, could, and does in most cases, impose certain automatic
injunctions and restrictions on both parties.
I hope you find that that my research exceeds your expectations. If
you have any questions about my research please post a clarification
request prior to rating the answer. I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.
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Clarification of Answer by
12 Feb 2003 04:26 PST
You also say "...Jun 14'02 when she told me that she had filed for
divorce." Do you know for a fact that she did this or are you just
going on her word? The reason I ask this is because the court normally
provides both parties with a booklet, or some other form of special
instructions, that dictates how they should behave during the
proceedings - the "do's" and "don't's" if you will. If you did not
receive one you should get one (and be a bit suspicious as to "why"
you didn't get one). In my state at least, the guidelines provided in
the booklet are not mere suggestions, they are generic, but standing
court orders. One could potentially bring his spouse back into court
over repeated or habitual violations of the behavior guidelines.
Moreover, since June 4, 2002 is an unusually long time to be going
through a divorce in most states, and I find it VERY perplexing that
you are just now considering seeing a lawyer. If these things haven't
set off some subconscious alarms for you they should. Make that
appointment with your lawyer as soon as possible.