Cohabitation Under Restraining Order

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Mar 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

A Nightmare Scenario. The possibility of still living together can be a huge question for the person suddenly facing a New Jersey restraining order: Do I have any chance whatsoever of still living with the person who got the restraining order against me? The question looms so largely because restraining orders create enormous financial, logistical, familial, and other obstacles for the restrained person. Imagine the practical challenges of suddenly losing all access to your own home because the person who got the restraining order still lives there. Restraining orders can be like a person's worst nightmare coming true. It's not just the lost shelter and bed and lost access to clothes, food, household goods, medicines, self-care products, and tools. A restraining order can also mean losing custody of children, not even seeing one's own kids. Getting to stay in the home while under the restraining could vastly reduce the order's disruptive and destructive impact. But is staying in the home even possible?

The Order's Usual Scope. Staying in the home would usually be highly unlikely, if not downright impossible. Individuals typically seek a restraining order because of the restrained person's violence or threats of violence. And thus, the typical restraint is that the restrained person must have no contact with the protected person. No contact would usually include staying out of the protected person's house, even if that house is also the restrained person's house. Entering the protected person's home with the protected person present would violate a no-contact order, potentially resulting in arrest, conviction, and incarceration for contempt of court. The restraining order may even expressly prohibit the restrained person from entering the protected person's home, whether the protected person is present or not present. Read and strictly comply with the order's terms, or you could end up in jail.

Limited Orders. Not all restraining orders, though, are no-contact orders. Courts sometimes enter more-limited restraints against the restrained person's use of property, use of funds, access to bank accounts, interference with the protected person's job or relationships, and so forth. If the restraining order doesn't prohibit contact with the protected person, which it very often does, then cohabiting with the protected person may be possible. Possible doesn't mean wise. The restrained person would still need to evaluate the risks of violating other terms of the order.

Victim Consent. The person obtaining the restraining order might in some situations permit or even invite and encourage the restrained person to return to the home, even under a no-contact order. The protected person might even benefit from the restrained person's return. But don't take the protected person's consent as if it relieves complying with the order. It doesn't. The protected person, restrained person, or both must obtain the court's relief from the order first before making their own arrangements. Otherwise, a sudden change in the protected person's heart could result in contempt charges. Don't get manipulated into contempt charges. Instead, strictly comply with restraining orders.

Retain a New Jersey Restraining Order Attorney

If you face a crippling restraining order or have questions over complying, retain preeminent New Jersey restraining order defense attorney Joseph Lento and the expert team at the Lento Law Firm to represent you. Attorney Lento and his team are available for your New Jersey restraining order defense. Call 888-535-3686 or go online now for the best available restraining order attorney representation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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