People navigating difficult divorces in California may need to file for protective orders at some point. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition because the state recognizes several types.
What is a protective order?
Protective orders — also known as restraining orders — safeguard people from harassment, bodily harm, financial harm, threats, stalking and sexual abuse. In legal terms, the party that files for the order is the “protected person,” and the target of the claim is the “restricted person.” Under California law, protected parties can be a single individual or an entire family or group.
Different types of restraining orders
California courts recognize several types of protective orders. Typically, only three apply in divorce-related cases, and each comes with a set of accompanying prohibitions. But to secure one, you must provide evidence of potential harm. In other words, judges won’t hand out restraining orders for no reason at all. The different types of restraining orders include:
• Domestic violence restraining order – These apply when either a family member, close friend or roommate has abused you or your children in the past.
• Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order – Elder abuse restraining orders typically don’t play a role in divorce cases, but under the right circumstances, they may prove helpful. Judges grant them in situations where caregivers abuse or neglect seniors. These restraining orders also apply when the victim is younger than 65 but has mental or physical ailments that render them dependent on another party.
• Civil harassment restraining order – Civil harassment restraining orders are deployed when the claimant doesn’t have a close relationship with the accused. With the necessary evidence, you can secure civil harassment restraining orders against stalkers, neighbors, distant relatives and even co-workers.
Don’t gamble with your safety. If you feel threatened, securing a protective order may be the right decision. If you’re unsure what to do, consulting with a family law attorney may be the way to go.