Tonight’s post about the abuse of ex parte in divorce was written by our Savannah divorce attorney, David Purvis.
I have written before on ex parte hearings in family law. It’s an area I am passionate about because it is a process that is often abused with terrible consequences. I would like to share such a recent occurrence here in Savannah:
Husband comes to me having just been ousted from his house. Wife decided she wanted a divorce so, to gain the upper hand, she obtained an ex parte hearing alleging that Husband had abused her. The Judge, out of an abundance of caution, issued a protective order which gave Wife temporary sole custody of the couple’s child and sole possession of the marital home. The Sheriff showed up at the house to served Husband with the protective order, giving Husband 15 minutes to collect a few belongings and vacate the residence.
The first very sad aspect of this story is that there had been no abuse. At all. In fact, the parties had actually just returned from a romantic weekend out-of-town trip. I can hear you, dear reader, saying, “but Dave, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t abuse on that trip or before or after.” To which I say, “sure, but read on, dear reader.”
The second very sad aspect of this story is that Husband is battling a life threatening cancer. Husband cannot lift anything over a few pounds. Husband is in and out of the hospital, recently had undergone an organ transplant, and required rest and care.
The third very sad aspect of this story is that in Wife’s effort to obtain the upper hand in her divorce action, she put her Husband who was very sick, on the street, homeless for several days, sleeping in his car while recovering from an organ transplant and still reeling from a very bad diagnosis.
Let’s just say that when the Judge heard the whole story, the protective order got dismissed. Husband returned to the marital home. Wife’s credibility with the Judge was shot. The early leverage Wife sought in her divorce case turned out to be the exact opposite.
Justice was served.
The consequences of this abused ex parte were terrible. While the Judge learned the depth of Wife’s depravity, I don’t think that Husband’s suffering was worth it. Even with Wife on the ropes, her horrid character exposed, there was no party from this ex parte.