My state provides protection for battered spouses through a petition for a domestic violence order. If a husband threatens or harms a wife, for example, she can fill out a short petition at the courthouse, appear immediately before a judge, and obtain an order putting the husband out of the house for a few days. The sheriff serves the order that same day and you are given enough time to pack a toothbrush.

The court then sets a full hearing at which both parties can appear and testify as to what really happened. The judge can dismiss the protective order or continue it for up to a year. Divorce lawyers call these “Kickout Orders”.

Domestic violence can never be countenanced, but you can see how Kickout Orders can be
subject to abuse themselves. I’ve had all sorts of cases including grabbing for car keys, computers, mail, letting dogs outside a fenced yard, pouring weed killer on shrubs, bumping noses, muttering under one’s breath, and assorted pushes and shoves.

So be smart. Keep your hands in your pockets. Walk away from the fight. Remember, shout at your spouse, lose your house.