Living in fear within your own home is an experience no one should have to endure. If domestic violence threatens your safety, California law provides for legal protections via restraining orders.
A domestic violence restraining order is a court order aimed at protecting individuals from abuse or threats of abuse from an intimate acquaintance. Knowing when and how to get a restraining order could offer critical protection in dire situations.
Definition of domestic violence
California law defines domestic violence as abuse or threats of abuse when the survivor and the person causing harm have, or had, an intimate relationship. The definition of abuse extends beyond physical harm, encompassing verbal threats, harassment, stalking and psychological manipulation.
When a restraining order may be necessary
If you are in immediate danger or fear potential harm, it is time to consider a restraining order. A domestic violence restraining order applies if the person causing harm is a spouse, ex-spouse, domestic partner, cohabitant or parent of your child. Close relatives can also fall under this provision.
Protections a restraining order provides
A restraining order can offer several types of protection. It can mandate that the person causing harm refrain from contacting or approaching you, your children or other relatives. It can also prohibit them from visiting your home, workplace or children’s schools.
Furthermore, a restraining order can require the person causing harm to vacate your shared home and restrict any form of communication. It may grant you temporary custody of your children and establish visitation rights.
To secure a domestic violence restraining order in California, you need to complete the necessary forms explaining the abuse and your need for protection. A judge will review your request. If the judge believes you need protection, they will issue a temporary restraining order. You will then attend a court hearing where you must provide evidence to support your request. If you convince the judge, they will issue a permanent restraining order.