Family law and criminal law are two very different areas of law, but when a domestic violence restraining order is introduced into divorce proceedings, these two areas may overlap, and this can make negotiating a divorce settlement a challenging endeavor. Restraining orders in California divorce cases can prevent the restrained individual from owning a gun or going near the victim and his or her children, or they can require the individual to move out of a residence or adhere to child custody and visitation instructions. If you are seeking a divorce in Los Angeles and your spouse has a domestic violence restraining order against him or her, or if you have been falsely accused of domestic violence by your spouse, contact Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles today for a free initial consultation. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in all types of family law cases and can provide you with the legal guidance you need to get the best divorce settlement possible.
Affordable Los Angeles Restraining Order Attorney
Domestic violence is a serious and pervasive issue in California and across the country, and in a dissolution of marriage case complicated by allegations of abuse or a domestic violence conviction, the matter of a restraining order may arise, which can affect the way the divorce proceedings take place. Whether the domestic abuse led to the divorce action, or stemmed from it, there are certain protections available to abused spouses under California family law, and an experienced Los Angeles divorce attorney can ensure that you are fully aware of your legal rights when seeking a divorce in California. At Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles, we understand that no two divorce cases are the same, and we are fully prepared to represent your best interests in court, no matter how complicated the circumstances may be.
Restraining Orders and Divorce in California
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means misconduct on the part of one spouse or the other has no bearing on the judge’s decision to grant the divorce. Even in cases where one spouse has been accused or convicted of domestic violence against the other spouse, the grounds for divorce will be based on “irreconcilable differences.” However, a domestic violence restraining order can still have an impact on other parts of a Los Angeles divorce case, including the divorce process itself and the outcome of the divorce proceedings, particularly if child custody, child support or spousal support are at issue.
For example, in most divorce cases, the divorcing spouses are encouraged to attend mediation to try to reach a workable and amicable agreement with regard to important issues, such as property division, child custody and alimony or spousal support. However, with a domestic violence restraining order in effect, the spouse accused of abuse may not be allowed to go near the alleged victim, and even with attorneys acting as mediators for the couple, a past history of violence can make negotiation impractical or impossible. The terms of a restraining order may even prohibit the alleged abuser from remaining in the family home during the divorce process, even if the home is considered community property.
A domestic violence restraining order may not only affect the way a divorce case proceeds, it can also have an impact on the outcome of divorce proceedings, such as the judge’s decision to award spousal support or on how to split up the couple’s property. For example, under California Family Code Section 4325, if one spouse has been convicted of domestic violence against the other spouse within five years of the divorce action, the convicted spouse may not be entitled to receive alimony payments. When dividing separate and marital property during divorce proceedings, the court may also decide to award a greater percentage of the marital assets to an abused spouse, if that spouse suffered an adverse economic impact resulting from the abuse.
Types of Restraining Orders in a Los Angeles Divorce
A restraining order is a court order that can protect you and your children from abuse or harassment during a California divorce or legal separation. There are two main types of restraining orders – a domestic violence restraining order and a civil harassment restraining order – and these types of orders can include various protection orders, including stay-away orders, no-contact orders and “move-out” orders.
- Domestic violence restraining order – Used to obtain protection from a spouse, a former spouse, a domestic partner, a co-parent, a person you have dated or lived with, or a person who is closely related to you
- Civil harassment restraining order – Used to obtain protection from a person with whom you have no close family or domestic relationship, such as a co-worker, neighbor, business acquaintance or former friend
The court can issue either a temporary restraining order, valid for up to three weeks, to provide you with protection until your hearing, or a permanent restraining order, valid in most cases for up to five years. If your abuser violates the restraining order, he or she may be required to pay and fine and may even be sentenced to serve time in jail.
How an Experienced Family Law Lawyer Can Help
Under California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act, a variety of types of abuse may be considered domestic violence, including child endangerment and spousal abuse, and any such charges can result in a domestic violence restraining order. A Los Angeles family law attorney with experience handling divorce cases and domestic violence restraining orders can help you understand what an accusation of abuse, or a conviction on charges of domestic violence can mean for your divorce. If you wish to request a restraining order against an abusive spouse, our attorneys can prepare the necessary forms detailing what type of protection you need and from whom, and file them with the Superior Court of California. We can also help you collect evidence to support your case, including police reports, medical records, photographs and copies of emails, which can significantly improve your chances of a satisfactory outcome in court. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, our lawyers can help you defend yourself against these charges.
Free Restraining Order Consultation in Los Angeles
Even though the standard grounds for divorce in Los Angeles are no-fault grounds, violent behavior perpetrated by one spouse against another can still have an impact on the outcome of a divorce case. Restraining orders in California are granted by the court to protect abused spouses and their children, and the courts in California understand that such restraining orders can save lives. According to statistics from the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, about 40% of women in California will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and of those women, 75% will have children under the age of 18 at home. For more information about domestic violence restraining orders and how they can affect divorce cases in Los Angeles, contact our family law lawyers today at (213) 550-4600. Our legal team at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles is committed to protecting your legal rights under California law and can improve your chances of a favorable outcome in your divorce case, even under the most difficult of circumstances.