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What To Do If Your Spouse is Harassing You During Your Divorce

Woman being harassed by ex

Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from her husband, Kanye West (now legally known as Ye), in February 2021. Since then, their divorce has made headlines. Most recently, questions have been raised about West’s social media activity. Several times he has posted (and subsequently deleted) screenshots of their private communications, publicly questioned how Kardashian parents the couple’s shared children, and comments about Kardashian’s current romantic partner.

Consequently, questions have been raised regarding whether West is harassing Kardashian, and if he is, what impact this can have on their divorce. While we cannot comment on the particular situation between Kardashian and West, we can talk about harassment and its impact on a Texas divorce case.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Harassment

In Texas, harassment is defined by Texas Penal Code § 42.07. Because harassment falls under the penal code, it is a criminal offense. Harassment may be charged as a Class B misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of the case. It may be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor if the offender was previously convicted, the offense was committed against a minor child, or the offender violated a temporary restraining order.

You may be charged with harassment while going through your divorce if you:

  • Initiate communication with your spouse and during this communication, make an obscene comment, suggestion, request, etc.
  • Threaten to harm or inflict bodily injury to your spouse, a member of their family, or their property.
  • Make a false report to your spouse that someone else has suffered serious injury or death.
  • Make repeated anonymous phone calls or cause your spouse’s phone to ring repeatedly in a way that is likely to “harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend.”
  • Allow someone else to use your phone to harass your spouse.
  • Send repeated communications (such as via email) in a way that is likely to “harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend.”
  • Publish communications on a website or social media platform that are likely to “cause emotional distress, abuse, or torment to another person.”

It is not uncommon for the courts to issue temporary restraining orders during divorce proceedings. This is especially the case in situations where the divorcing parties are very angry with each other, struggle to communicate effectively, and the divorce becomes acrimonious. Violating these orders can result in a harassment charge.

Harassment is a serious offense, and no matter how troubled you are over your divorce, you should never attempt to harass or intimidate your spouse. It is important to remember that just because you do not think you are harassing your spouse doesn’t mean others will perceive your actions the same way. For example, even asking a third party to contact your former partner may be perceived by the courts as harassment.

How Divorce May Impact Your Divorce Settlement

Divorce is an incredibly difficult process, both practically and emotionally. Tempers can run high, and you may be feeling incredibly angry with your former partner. However, this is never an excuse for harassment. In fact, harassment (and other forms of domestic violence or intimidation) can negatively impact your divorce settlement.

Harassment can have a negative impact on:

  • Child custody and support decisions
  • Spousal support decisions
  • Property division settlements

A harassment conviction will also leave you with a criminal record, potentially making other areas of your life difficult, as well as your divorce. You may struggle to find employment or find that you are ostracized from your community. It may even lead to receiving a protective order based on the harassment conviction.

If you are going through a divorce and are being harassed by your former partner, reach out to your attorney as soon as possible for help. Keep a record of the harassing behavior and provide this information to your lawyer.

Similarly, if you are being accused of harassment by your spouse, you should also speak with your lawyer as soon as possible. You do not want a false accusation of harassment to derail your divorce, nor do you want a criminal conviction on your record.

Hunt Law Firm, PLLC has handled many high-conflict divorces, and we can use our experience to help you. Send us a message online to schedule a consultation.