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Ten easy ways to violate a no contact order

It isn't unusual for domestic violence charges to crop up in a bitter divorce, sometimes because an ugly verbal confrontation turns physical and sometimes because one spouse fabricates the charges as a tactical maneuver.

Whether or not it's fair, you may be handed a no contact order until the court makes a decision on the domestic violence charges. At this point, it's important that you understand exactly what that means and how not to violate it. Otherwise, you could face a conviction for violating the order even if you aren't convicted of the original allegations.

Here are ten easy ways to violate a no contact order?

1. Saying "Hi," when you accidentally encounter the other person in a public area

2. Not automatically leaving a public space when the other person enters (even if you were there first)

3. Calling or sending a message through a third party asking to pick up your personal items from the family residence

4. Posting messages to the other person on Facebook

5. Emailing the other person, even if it only pertains to things like the children or personal property

6. Clicking "Like" on a post the other person puts on Facebook

7. Following someone's Pinterest page, Google Plus account or Twitter feed

8. Calling the other person's family members, close friends, or neighbors with requests for information or tell your side of the story

9. Driving or walking around the neighborhood where the other person lives

10. Responding to a text, email, or other communication initiated by the other person

That last one may sound particularly unfair and hard to accept, especially if the other person contacts you and says that he or she would like to "talk things out." Don't jump at the opportunity. Don't even reply. The fact that he or she contacted you first doesn't invalidate the no contact order you are under.

A conviction for violating a no contact order isn't something you want on your record as you move forward into your new life. It has the potential to affect you at job interviews, when you are trying to get housing, if you apply for a visa or try to get a security clearance.

It can also make you look like a hot-head who won't respect the court's authority. That's definitely not something you want the judge deciding your custody and visitation rights to think.

Source: FindLaw, "Domestic Violence: Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders," accessed Jan. 20, 2017

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