What To Know About Domestic Violence And Restraining Orders

A significant number of divorce and child custody cases involve evidence or allegations of domestic violence or abuse. Whether true or false, accurate or overblown, the allegations will have an impact on the proceedings and, likely, the outcome of the case.

At Denny Kershek Family Law Attorney, we help clients who need to seek a restraining order against a spouse, and we also help clients who need to defend themselves against a restraining order and the allegations that accompanied it. In either case, it is important to know how restraining orders work and how they can affect a family law case in California.

The Process: From Temporary To Permanent Orders

After domestic violence has been reported (physical, verbal, sexual, stalking, etc.), the alleged victim will go to court to seek a temporary restraining order against his or her spouse. That order will be in effect until the next court hearing, which is usually two to three weeks later.

At the second court hearing, the judge will decide whether to rescind the order or to make it "permanent" (lasting about three to five years). Both the accuser and the accused should be at this hearing, as this is the only opportunity for the accused to contest the allegations. If a restraining order becomes permanent, it will greatly impact divorce and custody proceedings.

What You Need To Know If You Have Been Accused Of Domestic Violence

Defending yourself against a permanent restraining order is crucial, as this will impact your life significantly. Here are some of the many consequences you may face if you are the subject of a permanent restraining order:

  • You will be required to surrender all weapons; so if you are in law enforcement or the military, your career could be effectively over.
  • You will be listed on a federal registry, which could impact your current and future employment opportunities.
  • If you cross the U.S. border, you will likely be pulled into secondary inspections.
  • If you commit a restraining order violation, you will likely face fines and jail time.
  • In child custody proceedings, the state of California will presume that you are an unfit parent.

The final note mentioned above is particularly devastating to many parents. Unfortunately, some individuals falsely accuse their spouse of committing domestic violence just to gain child custody. While such acts are rare, they are nonetheless a good example of why it is so important to contest a restraining order when appropriate, and to seek the help of a good lawyer.

Contact Us To Learn More About Your Rights And Legal Options

With more than 35 years of experience, attorney Denny Kershek can guide you through this difficult time and represent you in all aspects of your family law case. Our firm offers free initial consultations to prospective clients in San Diego County and surrounding areas. To learn more, call us in Poway at 619-908-1899 or send us an email.