After a marriage has ended, the two parties often must maintain some form of relationship. Most commonly, that relationship is related to the children of the marriage – until those children are eighteen, the parents must meet the terms of their parenting agreement. There is a high likelihood, as well, that there are common friends who must either be divided between the parties or share time. If the parties are living in the same area, there is even potential that they will be shopping at the same time and in the same location.
The most pertinent example is, of course, that of transferring children between parents and the behavior of the parents in the presence of the children. Most parenting agreements and/or divorce decrees contain language that the parents must act civilly when together with the children present; in fact, under Tennessee law parents are required to refrain from speaking or acting in such a way as to influence children against the other parent.
In other situations or in marriages that do not involve children, the majority of the team the divorced couple is treated as if they had never been married. There is normally no requirement that they avoid contact, nor are they required to communicate unless ordered by the court. In some hotly disputed divorces, the court may issue orders of protection preventing each party from contacting the other. In the absence of a court order, though, there are no specific guidelines that must be followed by a divorced couple that do not apply to social interactions with anyone else.
If you are currently or previously have been involved in a divorce, your ex-spouse does not have a right to harass you or stalk you, nor to slander you. If you feel that your ex-spouse (or anyone else) is behaving inappropriately, you should contact an attorney. For more information about marital dissolution and other family law issues, click here.