Divorces are often difficult for both parties and a particularly contentious divorce can leave a lot of bad feelings and even anger behind after the process is complete. However, that is no excuse for intentionally disrupting the life of an ex-spouse, especially in ways that are considered harassment under criminal law. This can come in many different forms, including repeated unwanted phone calls, emails, or letters, or through misconduct in paying spousal or child support. Minnesota residents who are experiencing harassment from a former spouse should contact law enforcement officers to make sure that they are protected from further harassment or possible violence.
A recent case was in the news in which a woman experienced harassment from her former husband. According to police sources, the couple parted ways after their divorce, but the ex-husband kept harassing and stalking his ex-wife. He continued to send harassing and vulgar notes with content that was very disturbing. In fact, the ex-husband's harassment escalated after the divorce. The harassment was so extreme that the woman had to relocate to escape from him.
Even then, the ex-husband didn't stop. The husband started mailing alimony checks to the ex-wife with smears of feces on them. As a result, the woman suffered from flu-like symptoms and gastric problems. Initial test reports of the smears showed organic substances that contain proteins and active biological ingredients. Further test reports are still pending.
The federal investigators have arrested the husband on charges of sending hazardous material through the U.S. Postal Service, obstructing the mail and interstate stalking. The Postal Service officials have put the victim's mail into quarantine because of possible health risks and are also scrutinizing it for any hazardous materials. An order of protection has also been issued to protect the ex-wife.
This type of behavior is incredible shocking to many Minnesota readers, and is clearly a horrible way to be treated by an ex-spouse. No one should tolerate this type of abuse, threatening behavior, and ongoing harassment from anyone.
Orders for protection are one way for victims of this type of abuse to begin the legal intervention process and put harassment to an end. An order for protection keeps the abuser away from the victim and can also create criminal penalties for the abuser contacting the victim.
Source: The Bugle, "Cottonwood woman gets crappy alimony checks" Dec. 11, 2012
More information about orders for protection can be found on our Minnesota family law site.