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Domestic violence is defined as abuse or the threat of abuse between parties in a close relationship. California’s domestic violence laws recognize that abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional/psychological abuse
  • Intimidation/harassment/stalking
  • Destruction of personal property
  • Abuse of family pet(s)

The parties must have one of the following relationships:

  • Married or formerly married
  • Registered or formerly registered as domestic partners
  • Dating or used to date
  • Living together or used to live together (as more than roommates)
  • Parents together of a child
  • Closely related (parent, child, sibling, grandparent, in-law)

There are different types of restraining orders. Depending on your case, you may only need one or you may need several. The types include:

  • Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
  • Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
  • “Permanent” Restraining Order
  • Criminal Protective Order or “Stay-Away” Order

You should carefully consider the orders you need from the court. Possible orders include:

  • No contact with you, your children, relatives, or others who live with you
  • Stay away from your home, work, or your children’s schools
  • Stay away from your pets
  • Give up firearms
  • Move out of your house
  • Pay child support
  • Pay spousal support

If you ever believe you are in imminent danger, call 911. Your safety is most important and should remain the top priority throughout your case. An experienced family law attorney familiar with domestic violence will help you to safety plan.
This is the first of two blog posts that will address domestic violence. This post is meant to provide a general overview.