The Houston Family Law Blog

Estranged Couple Ends Up in Litigation Over Protective Order

One of the biggest misconceptions about divorce is that after the papers are filed the parties won't have any contact. While there are instances where this is true, many couples continue to fight and end up in litigation. For example, recently on FindLaw's Houston Family Law blog, we discussed a couple that was trying to sort out their massive credit card debt almost two years after their divorce decree.

Further, in those instances where a couple has children, an ex-husband and wife can end up in court countless times over custody, and the legal system can get involved in other ways, too, including criminal charges and even civil lawsuits.

For an extreme example of how convoluted it all can get, Southeast Texas Record is reporting about Stephanie Markiewicz and Stephen Markiewicz, where Stephanie filed a lawsuit against her ex-husband for reportedly making false criminal charges against her.

It all started when Stephen Markiewicz filed a series of reports with the League City Police Department accusing his ex-wife of making threatening phone calls to him.

This led to Stephanie Markiewicz's arrest for violating a Texas protective order.

It is unclear why Stephen Markiewicz took out the protective order. In many states like Texas, protective orders are typically used in domestic disputes to ban one party from contact with another or from interfering with an order of the court with respect to child visitation or custody rights. In Texas, a protective order can be temporary, for as long as 20 days, to 2 years. The order can even be used to limit one party telephoning another party, as was the case here.

At this point Stephanie sued her ex-husband, arguing that he was keeping her from having a relationship with their children, who live with him. She argued that Stephen was motivated by ill will against her and she sought $11,000 in damages. Meanwhile, the district attorney investigated the complaints against her.

Eventually, it turned out that the district attorney dropped the charges. At this point, Stephanie Markiewicz filed a motion stating that she no longer desired to litigate the suit against Stephen Markiewicz. From the facts before us, dropping the lawsuit would seem like a decent gesture on her part, even though she might have had a claim if he really bore false testimony against her.

In the end its just another Texas divorce spanning family law, tort, and criminal courts. Marriage may begin simply, but almost never ends that way.

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