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A Threatening Ex-Spouse Is an Act of Family Violence

Is your ex-spouse threatening your safety? Contact The Waltman Firm to obtain a family violence protective order against a current or past partner. We can assist you and help you protect your family.

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What Is Family Violence? 

The Official Code of Georgia defines family violence as any felony, battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass committed by:

  • A former or present spouse of the victim

  • A person with whom the victim shares a child in common

  • A person who is or was living in the same household as the victim.

What Are the Four Primary Types of Family Violence?


There are four primary types of family violence:

Physical Abuse

This type of abuse involves using physical force, such as hitting, kicking, or choking, to cause physical harm to the victim.

Emotional Abuse

This type of abuse is characterized by psychological manipulation and control, including verbal abuse, humiliation, and isolation.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any form of sexual violence, including sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Economic Abuse

It involves:

  • Controlling the victim’s access to financial resources, such as controlling their access to money.

  • Preventing them from working.

  • Ruining their credit score.

These types of family violence can have serious and lasting impacts on the victim and serious consequences for the perpetrator, including jail for domestic violence in Georgia. A restraining order can be an important step in protecting the victim and ensuring their safety.


Harassment can take many forms, including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. In the context of family violence, harassment may include:

  • Making threatening phone calls
  • Sending threatening messages
  • Following or stalking the victim
  • Damaging the victim’s property
  • Making unwanted visits to the victim’s home or workplace


Legal Harassment by Ex-Spouse

Legal harassment by an ex-spouse refers to the use of legal processes, such as filing motions or making false claims, as a means of continuing to harass or abuse a former partner, even after the end of the romantic relationship. 

This behavior can be particularly damaging and disruptive, as it often occurs in child support disputes or other proceedings. In such cases, the harassing former spouse may use the legal system to prolong the conflict, cause harm to their former partner, and interfere with their ability to move on with their lives.

How to Stop an Ex-Spouse From Harassing Me?

During a family court hearing, a judge may consider evidence of harassment, such as repeated unwanted contact, threats, and intimidation, to determine if an ex-spouse is engaging in such behavior. This is especially relevant in domestic abuse or child protection cases, where the abused person’s safety and the child’s welfare are of paramount concern.

When a judge believes that an ex-spouse is engaging in harassment, they may take action to protect the victim. One such action is issuing an emergency protective order – a court order requiring the harassing former spouse to stop their harmful behavior and refrain from any further contact with the victim. This type of order can also include provisions for child support and other necessary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the victim and their family members. To learn more about the grounds for a restraining order, you can reach out to The Waltman Firm.

If the harassing spouse violates the restraining order, they can be held in criminal contempt of court. This serious offense can result in fines and jail.

The court may also award sole custody of the children to the abused person and require the harassing ex-spouse to attend counseling or therapy.

Steps You Can Take to Stop Harassment

Below are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from a harassing ex-spouse:

Seek Support

Consider seeking the support of friends, family, or a therapist. They can help you cope with the stress of the harassment and provide a safe and supportive environment.

Document the Harassment

Keep a record of any incidents of harassment, including the date, time, location, and what was said or done. This evidence can be helpful in court if you decide to take legal action.

Contact the Police

If the harassment is criminal, such as if the ex-spouse is threatening or physically assaulting you, contact the police immediately. The police can take appropriate action to protect you and make an arrest if necessary.

Take Legal Action

If the harassment continues despite your efforts to stop it, you may need to take legal action. This can include filing a complaint with the court, seeking a restraining order, or taking the ex-spouse to court for harassment.

Get a Restraining Order

If the harassment is severe and you are in immediate danger, you may be able to get a restraining order from the court. This order requires the harassing ex-spouse to stop their behavior and stay a certain distance away from you.

Consider Mediation 

If the harassment is related to ongoing family law issues, such as child custody or support, consider working with a mediator to resolve the issues without going to court. 

Suing an Ex-Spouse for Harassment 

Domestic violence, including harassment, can lead to criminal and civil legal action. Criminal charges can result in the abuser being incarcerated, while a civil lawsuit can result in financial compensation for the victim. However, this has to be done within the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations on domestic violence refers to the time the victim has to bring a legal claim or file criminal charges against their abuser.

If you have been a victim of harassment from your ex-spouse, you may be able to sue them for damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To sue for harassment, you will need to prove that the harassment was intentional and that it caused you harm. 

This may require evidence, such as threatening text messages or emails or testimony from witnesses who saw the harassment take place. It’s important to note that filing a civil lawsuit is separate from any criminal charges that may be brought against your ex-spouse. Even if they are found guilty of harassment or domestic violence in a criminal court, a separate civil lawsuit may still be necessary to obtain compensation for the harm.


Together, We Can Work to Bring an End to the Harassment

The Waltman Firm is dedicated to helping those suffering from harassment and violence from an ex-spouse. Our experienced attorneys understand the complexities of these situations and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and safety. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

Our legal team is here to provide the support, guidance, and representation you need to get through this difficult time. Whether you need help obtaining a restraining order against a family member, navigating the court system, or pressing domestic violence charges in Georgia, we are here to help.

Take control of your situation and protect yourself and your family. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options. We can work as a team to give you the peace of mind you deserve.