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How Restraining Orders Affect a Divorce Case

What is the Process of Obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order? 

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVRO’s) are court orders made by a family law judge that protect one or more people from another. They generally require that the restrained person stay at least 100 yards away from the protected person and that person’s residence, place of business, school, car etc… In the context of divorce cases, the DVRO generally protects wives from husbands, boyfriends from girlfriends, children from parents and so on.

the sign of "stop violence"

The DVRO process begins with the filing of a request for a DVRO and the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). The TRO is generally issued by the family court judge based on the written request itself. It is rare that a judge ever sees either party prior to the issuance of the TRO (at least in San Diego family courts). The TRO is generally always issued so long as there is an allegation of domestic violence made in the initial written request. The restrained person (Respondent) is not given the opportunity to respond to the request prior to issuance of the TRO. In fact, the restrained person is rarely ever even given notice that the TRO is being requested.

Once the TRO is issued, the Respondent is generally served by a police officer. If that person is served while at the marital house, then he is escorted from the house and often times arrested and released after a night in jail. The Respondent is noticed on the TRO paperwork as to the date of the family curt hearing concerning the DVRO request. The hearing must be set within 21 days of the issuance of the TRO. The court hearing date is the Respondent’s chance to answer to the allegations made in the request for restraining order. Both parties can submit additional paperwork, documents, pictures, and other exhibits in support of their respective positions on the matter. They may also call witnesses to testify at the hearing. The requesting party has the burden to prove that some form of domestic violence occurred and that he or she requires the protections afforded in a DVRO in order to prevent future violence.

Restraining Orders Affect Child Custody Orders

DVRO’s have a dramatic affect on divorce cases–especially divorce cases involving minor children. According to child custody law in California, the issuance of a DVRO against one parent creates a rebuttable presumption against the restrained parent having legal custody of the children of the marriage. Further, during the pendency of litigation regarding the DVRO, often times the restrained parent is precluded from seeing the children at all. If that parent is allowed to see the children, then it is most often under the supervision of a professional child visitation monitor.

Restraining Orders Affect Spousal Support in Divorce Cases

The issuance of a DVRO can also have a dramatic affect on the amount and duration of spousal support ordered in a divorce case. In fact, in may be a factor in the family law judge determining whether spousal support should even be ordered in the first place.

If you have been served with a request for a DVRO and you need to help proving your innocence call us now! We can help. If you are the victim of domestic abuse and you need help call our office today. We have experienced divorce lawyers ready to meet with you now. The divorce lawyers of Griffith, Young & Lass regularly represent both sides of domestic violence cases. Call to make an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation. 858-345-1720