Category: Family Law

Restraining order violations stick!

Did you know that the criminal charge “violation of a no-contact order VNCO” sticks even if the restraining order is temporary, or is terminated before the criminal case is resolved?

A lot of people believe that any violations of restraining orders will go away as long as the temporary restraining order is terminated; this isn’t true!

Once you are served with a restraining order, it is in effect. If the order tells you not to go a certain place, and/or not to contact the protected party, you risk criminal citation if you do it anyway.

The protected party is NOT restrained by their own restraining order. If a restrained party may not go to the protected party’s home, and/or may not contact him/her, this has no effect on the protected party’s actions. S/he can text you, call you, or show up to your house, and s/he is NOT violating their own restraining order. (We would argue they may not need protection if they won’t leave you alone, though!)

Here is what we see happen regularly: Wife gets a restraining (no contact) order against Husband and he is served with the order. A week later Wife texts husband and asks him to come over; husband believes he has permission. A fight breaks out at the family home and the police are called; Husband gets arrested for violating the no-contact order. Two weeks later, Wife’s no-contact order is terminated in family court; Husband’s criminal VNCO is still pending.

Husband is going to have a hard time fighting this charge, as the evidence tends to prove he knowingly went to a location, and spoke to a person, he wasn’t supposed to, after having been served with the no-contact order.

Read your order and respect it. No judge will have any sympathy for you if you knowingly violate the terms of your order.

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When Facebook Attacks

Facebook is a double-edged sword when it comes to the Courts. More than once we have looked at public Facebook posts, printed them, and included them in a family case to prove our point, and more than once Facebook posts or messages have been used against our client.

The lesson to be learned is Facebook and text messages are printed in permanent ink, they never go away, and they can and will catch you behaving badly. The same is true for pictures.

Another lesson is that you shouldn’t write something down if you wouldn’t be comfortable reading it out loud in a packed courtroom; and don’t allow or take a photograph you wouldn’t want shown to a judge in front of your mother.

Don’t forget that everyone everywhere has a recording device in their pocket in the form of their cell phone, which can take pictures, and record audio and video.  You never know who is watching and you should be more aware to protect yourself.

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Frivolous Request to Double Child Support

A statutory increase in support as a child gets older is normal, but in this case the opposing parent wanted to increase child support by under-representing their income, and over-estimating my client’s income. The moving parent provided no data to back up the request; no pay stubs, no tax returns, no bank statements. This parent wanted a huge bump in support and didn’t give any good reason for the change!

We had a telephone hearing with DSHS and they denied the moving parent’s request due to lack of information to support the proposed award.

If you need to ask for more child support, make sure you submit proof of the numbers that will be used to calculate it. It could make your request easy to grant, if the numbers are true, or it could help you deny a request that is unwarranted.

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