There’s no nice way to put it: divorce can be downright ugly. Beyond the bickering and nasty disputes, some spouses, unfortunately, result to violence or intimidation to try to get what they want.
If you or a loved one are being abused, stalked, threatened, or harassed, it’s important to take steps to protect your safety and the well-being of your children. If you feel that you are in danger, you should contact the police immediately. If you are not in immediate danger but are dealing with an ongoing problem, you should consult an experienced divorce attorney to determine whether filing for a restraining order is in your best interest.
Restraining Orders for Dangerous Situations
A restraining order is a court-issued legal restriction meant to protect someone (the “protected person”) from the dangerous or abusive treatment of another (the “restrained person”). The order prohibits the restrained person from performing certain actions, and may limit where that person can go and with whom they can interact.
If you are going through a divorce and your spouse is endangering you or your children, California offers four kinds of restraining orders that may apply to your situation:
- An Emergency Protective Order – Valid for up to five days, this is available to victims of stalking, domestic violence, child abduction, and child abuse
- A Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order – Granted by a judge to victims of domestic violence, this is valid for 15-21 days, with further hearings on whether it should be extended
- A Criminal Protective Order – Also known as a “No Contact” Order, this is granted to victims of a crime when another person has harmed them, or threatened them or their family
- A Civil Harassment Restraining Order – Granted for 15-21 days with a possibility to extend up to three years, this is issued to victims of stalking, harassment, or violence
Determining which type of restraining order applies to your situation may be difficult, especially when you are worried about your own safety. Enlisting the help of a seasoned divorce attorney who is familiar with California law will ensure that you follow the necessary procedures and file the right paperwork with the correct courts in order to get you the protection you need.
Other Restraining Orders
For most non-violent behavior that tends to arise in the context of divorce proceedings, you won’t have to worry about applying for a restraining order. California issues Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders immediately upon the filing of a divorce petition, preventing either party from:
- Removing minor children from the state without prior written consent
- Transferring or disposing of real or personal party without a court order or written consent
- Canceling or changing the beneficiaries of life insurance or other policies
- Creating or modifying a non-probate transfer of property without written consent
Violating these provision can result in fines, imprisonment, or monetary awards to the wronged party.
How an Experienced Divorce Attorney Can Help
No one should have to endure threats or abuse. When it comes to a contentious divorce with an angry spouse, protecting your safety and that of your children is the top priority.
The experienced divorce attorneys at the Kearney Baker Law Office have over 70 years experience handling all aspects of California divorces. We are well-versed in the requirements for obtaining a restraining order under California law, if the situation comes to that. If you’re feeling threatened, harassed, or abused, contact us today for an initial consultation. Your safety and well-being can’t wait.