How can I Make My Ex-Husband Stop Contacting Me Online?
You have finalized your divorce, you have achieved closure, and you are ready to move on with your life in North Carolina… but there is only one problem: your ex-husband just refuses to stop contacting you online. While this might seem like a trivial matter, the truth is that online harassment can cause serious emotional strife. This is especially true if your ex-husband is communicating with you in a threatening manner. Worse still, your former spouse could be sending your embarrassing, sexual, or disturbing messages.
It is time to move on - for real this time. With the right attorney by your side, you can pursue a number of legal options and stop your ex-husband from contacting you. Qualified attorneys with experience in these matters understand the seriousness of the situation. Although your abuser might not be in physical contact with you, online harassment can leave deep emotional scars. There is no reason you have to simply accept this type of treatment. You can take action today and move on with your life.The Definition of Cyberstalking
The state of North Carolina recognizes the serious nature of online harassment, and that is why there is a distinct crime in the Tar Heel State called cyberstalking. Similar to the crime of stalking, this offense comes with strict penalties, and anyone found guilty will face a Class 2 Misdemeanor with fines and possible jail time.
Even better, the definition of cyberstalking is extremely broad, which means that you will be protected from a range of potential virtual sources and causes for harassment and emotional distress. Here are some examples of what might constitute cyberstalking:
- Threatening you over texts or online communications of any kind
- Threatening your children
- Threatening your property
- Threatening your pets
- Repeatedly texting you or communicating with you by any electronic means to the point where it becomes abusive, annoying, or embarrassing
- Falsely claiming that someone (including them) has died or attempted to commit suicide
- Falsely claiming that someone (including them) has committed a crime or is planning to commit a crime
- Contacting your family and committing any of the acts listed above
- Installing some kind of device or using a type of software that allows them to spy on you, surveil you, or track your movements and activities
The first step is to make these cyberstalking crimes known to the proper authorities in the county you live in. If you can prove that you have been the victim of cyberstalking, your abuser will face serious legal consequences. In most cases, these legal consequences are enough to get the point across.
However, some ex-husbands continue to engage in cyberstalking even after they suffer the legal consequences of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Fortunately, repeat offenders face a felony conviction if they continue to engage in this behavior, which is enough to dissuade most abusers.Getting a Protective Order
Also known as a “50B” or a DVPO, a protective order can serve as another strong line of defense against ex-husbands who refuse to stop harassing you online. After you have obtained a DVPO, your former spouse will be completely banned from contacting you in any way.
This includes not only communication through digital means but also in person. If they violate this court order, they face even more serious legal consequences. The process for getting a protective order is a little tricky, and that is why it is useful to get help from a qualified attorney.
- Filling Out the Complaint Form The first thing you will need to do is head to the County Clerk of Court and fill out the complaint form. You will need to describe in detail what kind of abuse you are suffering from.
- Filling Out the Summons Next, you will need to fill out a summons form so that the County Sheriff’s Office can serve your ex-husband with the necessary information they need to attend the hearing for your protective order.
- Attending the Hearing After your ex-husband has been served, you will need to attend the hearing. This is when a qualified attorney comes in handy, as you will be required to show evidence that proves you were being harassed online. Remember, your abuser can also present evidence of their own.
Getting assistance from a qualified, experienced attorney is critical in these cases. First of all, the court does not provide you with a court-appointed attorney in civil cases such as these. Although you can technically represent yourself in court, you should try and present your case in a way that gives you the best chance of success. If you need assistance getting the online abuse to stop, reach out to Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704.370.2828 and schedule a consultation, now available via online video conference or at one of our offices in Charlotte, Monroe and Mooresville.