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Former baseball star served with restraining order in New Jersey

Sometimes, one legal matter can lead to another. That is particularly true when it comes to family law and domestic violence claims. Not even legendary sports heroes are immune from that reality.

Sources report that former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden is not only in the process of splitting from his wife, but that legal process is now made more complicated by a restraining order. His estranged wife reportedly called Bergen County authorities on her ex and claimed he was threatening her.

TMZ reports that Gooden's wife says that her husband threatened her safety and the safety of her family. Up until this recent incident, the estranged spouses were living together even though they are in the process of divorcing. Some families will try to do that for the sake of the kids. The decision to cohabitate during a divorce can also be financially-motivated or the result of stubbornness on the parts of the husband and wife when neither wants to give up the home.

It is not uncommon for divorce to lead to disputes and stress among both parties. It is also not uncommon, however, for some parties of divorce to make domestic violence claims as means to get to a favorable outcome in regards to child custody and other family law matters. The couple has two young kids out of their three-year marriage. If Gooden's wife successfully paints a picture that he is a violent, dangerous person, a court could grant her more rights to her kids.

Whether Gooden's wife is lying or exaggerating this case is not certain, but the fact that the family is mid-divorce makes it so important to give Gooden the benefit of the doubt before anyone assumes that he is guilty of threatening his wife. His freedom, reputation and relationship with his children rest on the merits of the accusations of threatened violence.

Our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys have experience helping those whose rights are threatened byrestraining orders in Bergen County and throughout the state. Authorities take reports of threats and domestic violence seriously. They act fast, and so should suspects who are the targets of such allegations.

Source: TMZ, "MLB Legend Dwight Gooden Removed From Home After Threatening Estranged Wife," March 3, 2013