For many terminating marriages, domestic violence is a causal issue. In other instances domestic abuse can occur when the other spouse becomes angry that divorce papers have been filed. In either case, the victim may need to seek a protective court order against the perpetrator. A San Diego family attorney will help you through this process.
Domestic Violence and the Law
While being the victim of domestic violence can be terrifying, the good news is that the law is on your side. It is illegal for an individual to commit assault, battery, or engage in threats to another person. Most district attorney offices have domestic violence units specifically established to help victims.
Penal Codes 273 and 243 deal with spousal battery and child abuse, while PC 422 relates to criminal threats. Depending upon the nature of the acts, domestic violence may be treated as a misdemeanor, or even a felony.
Obtaining a Restraining Order
If you or your child is in imminent danger, you should seek an Emergency Protective Order (EPO). This is issued by law enforcement and remains valid for five days. An EPO is, in effect, a provisional order, designed for the purpose of providing you immediate protection as you work with your San Diego family attorney to obtain an order from the district attorney’s office.
The nature of the domestic violence will determine which type of restraining order you will need. The options are:
- Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order – Also called a TRO, this is an order issued usually for a period of three weeks. It can be extended to remain in effect for 1 to 3 years.
- Criminal Protective Order – Also called a “no contact” order, the district attorney’s office issues this when the domestic violence is currently occurring. A no-contact order makes it illegal for the perpetrator to have any contact with you whatsoever—albeit through email, letters, or phone calls—except through your San Diego family attorney.
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order – A CHO can prevent the perpetrator from stalking or harassing you.
If your estranged spouse violates a restraining order, he is subject to arrest.
Call for Legal Assistance
If you need help with obtaining a restraining order or have another family law concern, a San Diego family attorney can help. Call for a consultation today at (619) 866-3756.