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Restraining Order Advice needed by Mom

My son and his X were divorced in Jan. of 2018. Included in the divorce dec
ree was an order for his X wife and him to continue to remain under the same roof and his X wife who was in real estate at the time was given permission to act as the agent to sell their home and split the proceeds. She also was to pay half the house payment for which she has not paid one dime. She is no longer in real estate and refuses to pay for or sell the housr.  She had her dad and brother staying in the home as visitors with residences in Michigan. The X,  the brother, and her father created a scenario which was played out as this: My son  arrived home from work and could not get in the house as the locks were changd. The father in law was across the street and came over to my son. My son told him to open  the door and the father in law punched  my son in the face causing them both to fall. My son had his hands full and the video on his phone was turned on. The brother came out and started stomping on my son's head and both the brother and father in law attempted to get the phone from my son's hands causing multiple contusions to his fingers. The father in law had a bruised cheek related to falling from the force of his punch. The police were called and by then my daughter had showed up per my son's phone call. The father in law lied e ground and when the police arrived he claimed he didn't remember anything as he was in Vietnam and has metal in his head. The brother just claimed to be a witness. Both my son and the father in law were arrested and taken to jail. My son was charged with a felony for hitting a senior citizen. Eventually all charges were dropped on both of them. So my son started sleeping at my house as he did not want anymore set ups especially with his 7 year old son in the house. In the mean time the father in law filed for a restraining order against my son with a list of lies including lying to the judge twice about his place of residence stating that he lived at my son's house. The judge never asked for proof of address as in a driver's license of anything. His license states his residence in Michigan. He also lied and claimed my son leaves bloody tissues in the shower from shooting up drugs between his toes. I know he leaves bandaids in the shower, but they are from warts he has on his fingers that he had been trying to remove with medication. He also claimed my son entered his own home 4 days in a row with his work truck yelling, throwing things and opening drawers.. Not true. So the restraining order was ordered by the judge regardless of him  having an attorney who was to busy texting on his phone during proceedings. It was issued for a year. So here my son is, not allowed to go to his own home for a year yet continues to pay the $1800.00 a month mortgage.  My son tends to let his X get away with so much evil because he doesn't want his son to witness the fighting. The father has since went back to Michigan and we are working on  getting the order dissolved. Last month his X was driving drunk with her minor child in the car for which she was pulled over and charged with DUO with a minor in the car. Wow! She had been withholding visitation to Eric and ignoring his calls and text. This is a another whole story in itself. Parental alienation at it's worse. Eric is not following through on anything and gets upset if I try to tell him something. I am sorry for making this so long, but your we  page really opened my eyes. Can you make any suggestions as what direction he needs to go in regard to this.  I really appreciate it as a mom who's heart is breaking watching this all unfold. Thank you very much.


  1. Thanks for posting your questions! The challenge with a lot of real world restraining order questions posted on here is that often the restraining order is only one small and relatively minor piece of a very complex legal situation with many other facets that have nothing to do with the restraining order. That seems to be the case here. Unfortunately, although I know something about restraining orders especially in Wisconsin, I am not a lawyer and know nothing about the many other legal issues your son is facing. Even if I were a lawyer, I don't know what state you are in and no one--not even a lawyer--can give legal advice based on a blog post alone.

    However it seems to me that the restraining order is a very minor part of this story. What is more important is that NO ONE involved should be living at this house--not your son, not your former daughter-in-law, not the father-in-law or the brother-in-law, nor your grandson. The reason is that, from what you are saying, the house should have been sold a long time ago and everyone involved should have gone their separate ways and found new accommodations. As to what can be done now to force the sale of the home that should have been sold soon after Jan 2018, I do not know because I am not an attorney and am not familiar with the laws in your state. But I'm pretty confident in saying that pushing hard to get the divorce decree enforced and the house sold is what needs to be happening here.

    In retrospect it sounds like it was a mistake to agree to finalize the divorce before the house was sold. The house should have been sold first, and then the divorce finalized--not the other way around. But hindsight is always 20-20 of course.

    Also are there two children or one child involved here? You mention your son's child and his ex' child but I'm not clear if they are one and the same child or if there are two children from two prior relationships. Regardless, who has custody of the child(ren) before and after the house has been sold? I would think--but again I'm not a lawyer--that driving drunk with a minor child in the car would be strong evidence of her being an unfit mother. Perhaps that would affect any child custody issue involved. In many states driving drunk with a minor in the car--let alone one's own child--is frowned upon pretty seriously--it is much more serious than an "ordinary" DUI involving only adults and no injuries.

    So IMHO the focus should be on getting the divorce decree enforced and the house sold ASAP--after which the restraining order will be largely moot because everyone will be out of the house anyways. But I have no idea how to do that legally in your state.

  2. I would also make one other suggestion: that your son cease paying the mortgage until his ex catches up on her own court-ordered share of the mortgage. It sounds like she is about 17 months behind at this point. Her behavior in failing to pay her share of the mortgage is wrong, but he is enabling her bad behavior by continuing to pay 100% of the mortgage. If ceases to pay the mortgage, it will IMHO put a lot of pressure on her to do at least one of the two things she is required to do: pay her share of the mortgage or sell the house. He may be putting his own credit at risk by doing so, because the bank may not recognize the court order if the bank wasn't a party to the court proceedings that ordered her to pay half of the mortgage. But I believe there are much more 'heavy' things going on here than a credit rating that are higher priority. These include multiple people going to jail, physical fistfights, and a child possibly at risk. Your son should do damage control on his credit rating by making sure that he keeps all other credit obligations besides the mortgage current--especially any obligations in only his name. Make sure he keeps at least some credit cards in his name only. Once the situation with the house is resolved, he can then work on repairing any damage to his credit rating. But I see that as a lower priority for the moment. For the moment he shouldn't be paying that mortgage as it is only enabling a very damaging situation.