In the 21st century, domestic violence can extend to a number of issues, including outright physical abuse, online abuse, harassment, stalking and everything in between. While such matters are first, something for the authorities to consider, they are also grounds for a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO). DVROs are governed by the Domestic Violence Protection Act, which defines abuse as: 1) intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury; 2) sexual assault; 3) placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another; and 4) engaging in any behavior that has been or could be illegal, such as molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, battering, harassing, destroying personal property, contacting the other by mail, telephone, or otherwise, or disturbing the peace of the other party.
Unfortunately, in family law, there is an intersection between restraining orders, legal separation, dissolution, paternity cases, custody motions, relocation requests and criminal law. Many cases involving restraining orders involve specific facts and circumstances where a party requires protection under the law. Many other cases, however, involve a party lodging false accusations before the court in an attempt to obtain a competitive advantage in a current or future legal proceeding.
It is unquestionable that imposition of a domestic violence restraining order can affect legal custody in family court proceedings under Family Code Section 3044 and can affect a party's ability to relocate – or prevent relocation. Similarly, the imposition of a restraining order has the ability to affect spousal support in certain cases as well under Family Code Section 4325 and 4320. Restraining orders can also eliminate or substantially limit visitation for one side based on specific fact patterns, by listing the minors as protected parties. Finally, domestic violence restraining orders can also require that one party be removed from a residence they had been residing at (kick out orders).
Given that each restraining order case turns on its own facts and circumstances, some of which may have been transpiring for years prior to the matter being taken to court, such matters require careful analysis and preparation. In general, our firm works to protect and preserve the rights of parties and minors in attempting to obtain restraining orders when the facts justify such a remedy. Similarly, in cases where a party is facing allegations that could impact their livelihood and their custodial rights that are without merit, our firm advocates vigorously on their behalf to ensure they are protected.
At Sunnen Law, we handle all aspects of DVRO cases, including:
- Filing DVROs to protect victims of physical or other harassment
- Filing DVROs to protect victims and their children
- Litigating at both short cause and long cause DVRO hearings
- Defending against maliciously filed DVROs to protect a party's rights
- Renewing DVRO orders upon expiration
- Addressing the effects of a DVRO in a larger custody and/or family court proceeding
Get Legal Advice About Restraining Orders For Domestic Violence Today!
The goal of our firm is to make sure that parties are protected or one's rights are protected from judicial harassment and false filings. Call us at 619-255-9551 or email the firm to request an in-person consultation as soon as possible.