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September 18, 2021

Allegations of Domestic Violence are taken very seriously in California. If you are the victim of domestic violence or are concerned that you might be because of threats or harassment, you should consider filing for a restraining order against your abuser. Alternatively, if you’ve been falsely accused of domestic violence, a restraining order can negatively affect your livelihood, child custody visitation, etc.

A domestic violence component added into a family law matter will change the nature of the family law case entirely. Experienced family law attorneys at Tierney Law Group, PC can assist you in navigating the complexities of domestic violence related family law matters and help them make sense to you. Our experienced family lawyers in Pleasanton are well versed in both obtaining domestic violence restraining orders and defending domestic violence restraining orders. Give Tierney Law Group, PC a call today if you would like to discuss options.

What is a DVRO or Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

A DVRO is a type of restraining order that protects an individual who is in a domestic relationship with their abuser. In California, there are different types of restraining orders for victims of harassment, violence, abuse, or threats of abuse. An experienced family law attorney can help you to decide which is the best type of restraining order for you.

If your Pleasanton family law attorney helps you to decide that a DVRO is the best option for you, you’ll have to make sure that the relationship is considered domestic under California law. In California, your relationship is considered domestic if you are married, divorced or separated, registered domestic partners, dating or have a dating history, in a non-married intimate relationship, live together or used to live together, or are the parents of a child. California extends the ability to file for a DVRO if one of the following relationships is present: mother or mother-in-law, father or father-in-law, child or step-child, legally adopted child, grandparent or grandparent-in-law, grandchild or grandchild-in-law, sister or sister-in-law, brother or brother-in-law.

Defining “Abuse”

Abuse is not only defined as physical harm, in California, abuse is broadly defined and may include physical injury, attempt to physically injure, sexual assault, placing another person in reasonable fear that they are about to be seriously injured or harmed, harassing or stalking, hitting, kicking, shoving, disturbing another person’s peace repeatedly, abuse of a pet, destroying personal property of another.

Because California defines abuse so broadly, it’s important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to help you to determine the type of abuse that might be taking place and what type of restraining order is the best option for you. Abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional, or psychological. Abusers also manipulate and exercise control over victims so it can be a scary to think about leaving that abuse. If you believe someone is doing these things to you, call a Pleasanton family law attorney to help.

Types of DVROs

The first type of DVRO is an Emergency Protective Order or (EPO). A judge has discretion to issue an EPO after law enforcement make a request where they believe there is immediate danger of domestic violence or child abuse. Usually, EPOs are requested after law enforcement has gotten involved in a domestic dispute. EPOs are short and last only up to seven (7) calendar days. In order to be protected for a longer duration, you will need to request a temporary restraining order or domestic violence restraining order.

The second type of restraining order is a Temporary Restraining Order or (TRO). In order to obtain a TRO, the victim will file paperwork explaining the alleged domestic violence and include a statement of facts. The judge has discretion, when reviewing the paperwork, to issue a TRO and then set a hearing date, or deny the TRO and also set a hearing date. If the judge grants the TRO, the TRO will be in place until the hearing date, where a further determination will be made regarding extending the restraining order or dropping it.

The last type of restraining order is a Permanent Restraining Order. The word permanent can be a bit misleading as the court will usually issue a restraining order for one (1) to five (5) years, thus it is not actually “permanent,” just more permanent than the temporary restraining order. If, at the expiration of the permanent restraining order, you wish to extend the order, you can file to have the restraining order extended with a show of good cause why it is still necessary.

What does the restraining order actually do?

Restraining orders can protect you against different things, this is one reason that consulting a family law attorney to help you decide on type of restraining order is so important. Once granted a restraining order it can require that the restrained person not contact or go near you, your children, your relatives, or people living in your home; Not come near your home, workplace, or child’s school; Force the restrained person to move out of the shared home; Restrain the restrained person from owning a firearm; Make the restrained person pay child support, follow other orders, pay certain bills, not make changes to shared accounts, only discuss a shared child with you, etc.

If you share a child with an abuser, child custody and visitation effects are significant. A judge who believes that a parent has been abusive to the other spouse, immediate family member, or the children themselves, must consider the interests of the children. Family Code Section 3044 will be taken into account. See Family Code 3044 or read our article on Family Code Section 3044 on our website.

How will an experienced family law attorney help me with a restraining order?

An experienced family law attorney will be will versed in restraining orders. They will be able to help you determine what types of forms to file and help you complete them. Your attorney will also help you to make sure that the abuser is property served so the court can hear your case, as well as help you to prepare all evidence for court. Whether you are the victim or the alleged abuser, presenting evidence in your case is important. Evidence can include photos, police reports, texts, voicemails, and/or witness testimony. There are evidentiary rules that must be followed, so hiring an attorney will help ensure all of your relevant evidence is seen and heard by the judge.

Our experienced Pleasanton CA family law attorneys at Tierney Law Group, PC are also trained litigators with extensive courtroom experience and trial history. We have proven track records of success obtaining and defending domestic violence restraining orders. Domestic violence accusations can have lasting effects on your freedom, livelihood, and family law matter. The process is stressful and incredibly important to get right. Call Tierney Law Group, PC to help you with your domestic violence restraining order today at 925-362-3364.

Katlin N. Law


Tierney Law Group, PC