HOW CAN I CONFIRM THAT MY HUSBAND IS ATTENDING COUNSELING AS ORDERED?

I filed a protective order against my husband. Part of that order is that he is to attend counseling on domestic violence and alcoholism. The judge could not write it in the order as it was an item they couldn’t hold up in District Court.

ANSWER

If the Final Protective Order indicates that you husband cannot have any contact with you, then it is imperative that you do not contact him. You should have an attorney reach out to him or his attorney to request documentation to show that he is attending a counseling and/or a treatment program.

If the Final Protective Order states “no adverse contact” or “no unlawful contact” then you are permitted to ask your husband for documentation confirming that he is attending a counseling and/or treatment program.

If there were criminal charges based upon the incident that led to petition the Court for protection from domestic violence, you can contact the State’s Attorney’s Office. The Assistant State’s Attorney or the office’s Victim Witness Coordinator might be able to provide you with additional information or confirmation that your husband is attending counseling.

If you have an open custody case, whether it is for establishment of custody or a modification of custody, whether or not you husband has difficulties managing his anger or an alcohol addiction is relevant to the Court’s analysis of what custody and access schedule is in your child(ren)’s best interest. Therefore, through the discovery process you could request documentation confirming his attendance at counseling and treatment programs.

It is very important that you keep your safety in mind at all times. If you are permitted to have contact with your husband, it would likely be best to request confirmation from your husband in writing (via e-mail or text message) rather than face-to-face to avoid a confrontation. If you are not able to contact your husband pursuant to the terms of the Final Protective Order or you do not feel safe contacting your husband directly, you should have an attorney reach out on your behalf. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your situation in further detail.