Are you in a marriage with someone who is abusing you, your children, or your family pets? Or, are you being accused of committing domestic violence against your spouse or children? Either way, you’ll be interested in learning about domestic violence restraining orders and how they can impact a California divorce.
When someone is in an abusive marriage (or romantic relationship), they can ask the court for a restraining order. If the restraining order is approved and issued, it will order the abuser to STOP the abuse against the victim or victims named in the restraining order. But, it can also order the abuser to do a number of other things, including but not limited to:
- Stop abusing the family pets.
- Move out of the family home.
- Relinquish any firearms.
- Pay child support.
- Pay spousal support.
- Stay away from the persons protected in the order.
- Not contact the persons protected in the order.
- Pay specific bills, such as rent or mortgage, etc.
- Not change any insurance policies, such as health insurance, life insurance, and auto insurance.
- Complete a batterer intervention program, which lasts 52 weeks.
When Victims Are Scared to Report Abuse
In a large percentage of domestic violence situations, the abused spouse is in denial and they are under such a cloud that they don’t realize they are being abused. Sometimes, it’s because their abusive partner convinced them “it was all their fault” or that “they deserved what they got.”
Other times, the victim knows it’s abuse, but they feel trapped and for some reason, they fear the repercussions of calling 911 and getting help from law enforcement and the courts. Usually, by the time a victim actually calls the police for domestic violence, it’s already happened before, sometimes dozens of times.
When an abused spouse calls 911 after being abused and asks the court for a restraining order, it can help support their divorce case, especially if child custody is disputed. You see, when there is a “finding” of domestic violence (hard evidence), it can protect the victims, and help ensure that the abuser is held accountable for their actions.
In other words, if a victim obtains a restraining order, it can protect their best interests in the divorce case. But if the victim fails to call the police or obtain a restraining order, it can be harder to “prove” domestic violence and if the abuser is convincing, the court may suspect false allegations of abuse.
What Victims Should Do
If you’re a victim of domestic violence, you should seek help immediately from our firm. Since leaving is historically the most dangerous time, it’s important that you take the right steps. The best way to do that is to seek the advice of a San Diego divorce lawyer from our firm who has extensive experience with domestic violence victims and divorce.
Next: How Does Domestic Violence Impact Child Custody in CA?