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What state law has to say about domestic violence restraining orders

It's an unfortunate scenario that plays out with stunning regularity across Southern California: a couple gets into some manner of altercation, the police are summoned and one party is taken away in handcuffs on domestic violence charges.

While this is the best solution if one partner did indeed become violent, things understandably become more problematic if the underlying conduct involved aggressive actions. For example, someone throwing an object against the wall opposite their spouse in anger or pushing past a partner to exit the room in frustration.

While the person being booked under these latter circumstances at the local precinct not only has to worry about the impact of criminal charges, he or she also has to worry about the potential issuance of a domestic violence restraining order, something that can prove detrimental both personally and professionally.

What is a domestic violence restraining order?

A domestic violence restraining order is essentially a court order designed to protect individuals from abuse or threats of abuse made by individuals with whom they share a close relationship.

Indeed, actual or threatened abuse, and a close relationship are essentially the elements that must be present in order for a petition for a DVRO to be granted by the court.

What is considered a close relationship?

A close relationship for the purposes of a DVRO includes the following:

  • Those who are married or registered domestic partners
  • Those who are separated or divorced
  • Those who are currently dating or used to be in a dating relationship
  • Those who have a child together
  • Those who are currently living together or used to live together (i.e., more than mere roommates)
  • Those who share a close relationship (parent, child, sibling, grandparent, in-law, etc.)

What about children and DVROs?

State law permits parents to file a request for a DVRO on behalf of a child in addition to their own. However, children who are at least 12 years old may file their own request.

Whether you have been victimized by domestic violence and would like to learn more about pursuing a DVRO, or have questions about your options for challenging the issuance of a DVRO, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.

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