Domestic or family violence is increasingly becoming an issue in divorce. If an accusation of domestic violence arises in connection with your divorce, it's important to seek advice from a legal professional as soon as possible. A misstep can result not only in adverse consequences in your divorce case, but also in criminal prosecution and jail. If you are a victim of spousal violence, you can seek a restraining order against your spouse with the help of our firm. Consult a family law attorney in Orange County if you are seeking advice on issues in the future.
If your safety is under imminent threat, contact local law enforcement immediately!
Take Action for Immediate Protection
A temporary restraining order (TRO) can protect victims for 21 days, and also grant a court hearing that may allow the victim to ask for a restraining order that lasts from one to three years. An emergency protective order (EPO) is issued by law enforcement and begins protecting immediately. With an EPO, judges can order an abusive spouse to leave the home, giving the victim the time and opportunity to file for a more effective restraining order.
In addition, there are three other types of restraining orders you may use: civil harassment, elder/dependent adult abuse, workplace violence. Each of these restraining orders can work in situations similar to domestic violence, such as neighbors, coworkers, employers, or more distant family members. Discuss your situation with an Orange County domestic violence attorney to determine the best course of action.
Contact us now to speak with our Orange County domestic violence attorneys!
Qualifying for a Restraining Order
Domestic violence restraining orders usually require you to be able to prove abuse. California courts define abuse in a few different ways. Abuse may be causing or attempting to cause a spouse or child harm. Placing a spouse or child in fear of serious physical harm is also abuse, as is threatening or using force to obtain sexual favors or relations.
Restraining orders may be used to prevent someone from taking action, or require them to take action. Restraining orders for cases of domestic violence can help keep you and your family safe. To obtain an order for domestic violence, you must be able to demonstrate that you have or had a close personal relationship with the person.
A close relationship constitutes one or more of the following:
- Related by blood/marriage/adoption
- Having one or more children together
- Currently/previously engaged
- Currently/previously in a dating relationship
- Currently/previously living together
- Currently/previously married
Can Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?
If a court discovers that a parent has a history of abuse against their spouse, their child or within the past five years, that parent may not be granted sole or joint custody unless he or she can provide enough evidence to overrule the judge's decision.
Courts consider following factors when determining if an abusive parent is fit for custody:
- Is it in the child's best interest for the perpetrator to have custody
- Has the perpetrator completed treatment programming and parenting classes?
- Has the perpetrator met the requirements of his or her probation or parole?
- Has the perpetrator complied with the terms of their protective order?
- Has the perpetrator committed any further acts of domestic violence?
Perpetrators of domestic violence are allowed visitation unless it conflicts with the child's best interests. A court will avoid exposing a child to domestic violence by ordering supervised visitation, where a third party must be present during all visits between the child and the abusive parent, or banning overnight visits. If a child is neglected or treated very cruelly, a judge can permanently terminate the perpetrator's visitation rights.
In California, there are laws in place that can help families protect themselves from abusive individuals. If you are divorcing an abusive spouse who is fighting for child custody, you will need to present the court with a solid case. There can be no room for doubt. Contact a domestic violence lawyer to ensure the safety of you and your child.
Let Me Help You Get Protection
Whether you have been accused of domestic violence, or whether you are the abused spouse, it's important to understand that there are definite legal standards as to what constitutes domestic violence in California. An experienced Orange County family lawyer with experience in domestic violence situations can explain these to you to help you understand your rights and options in this matter. My qualifications to effectively protect you include the following:
- 25 years of experience in family law
- Board-certified family law specialist
- Experience handling complex family law issues
- Caring and knowledgeable representation
What one party sees as a legitimate response to a situation is seen by the other as a threat to one's health and safety. What begins as a dispute over domestic violence often ends up as a factual dispute as to what occurred. As a board certified family law specialist, I have the knowledge and experience to represent your interests in a domestic violence case. When you contact my firm, I offer a free initial consultation to explore your legal options.
Contact Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC and secure a family law attorney as soon as possible!
"I used Mr. Gibbs for my divorce. He was great, very knowledgeable and professional! He was excellent at letting me know the options I had and pointing me in the best direction. He was upfront and honest about outcomes. I was very happy with his service."Joshua Lott
"I could not have asked for a better experience in the midst of a bad situation than working with Mr. Gibbs. He was honest and fair and patient and kind."Rebecca Sterling
"He is a great family law attorney and I would definitely recommend him to a friend or family member in need."Les D.