The state of California takes accusations of domestic violence and other family law disputes very seriously and the court will issue a restraining order in any situation where someone fears for their safety or well-being or the safety or well-being of their loved ones. At (619) Divorce, Attorney Steve Smith and our team of family law attorneys can help you obtain a temporary restraining order or another type of restraining order while assisting you in your divorce case, during a child custody dispute or in any other family law matter in San Diego or the surrounding area. Contact our skilled San Diego restraining order lawyers at (619) Divorce today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Table of Contents San Diego Restraining Order Lawyer
Experienced San Diego Restraining Order Lawyer
Our divorce and family law attorneys at (619) Divorce are intimately familiar with San Diego law and how it applies to your case, and we can ensure that you understand your legal options with regard to filing or fighting a restraining order. Restraining orders can last anywhere from a few days to years, and the level of protection established by a restraining order varies as well, depending on the type of order and the specific circumstances of the case. For instance, a temporary restraining order issued in a San Diego domestic violence case can last between two and three weeks, while a permanent domestic violence restraining order can last up to five years, or longer. At (619) Divorce, our knowledgeable and aggressive attorneys can help guide you through the process of either obtaining or avoiding a restraining order, while ensuring that your rights and interests are fully protected.
Restraining Orders in San Diego
Restraining orders, also known as protective orders, are orders issued by the court that legally prevent another person from doing something, such as harming, threatening or going near the petitioner or his or her family. While restraining orders are typically utilized in domestic violence cases where the petitioner fears for his or her safety, the court can also issue automatic temporary restraining orders in a San Diego divorce or family law case. There are many situations in which a party in San Diego may seek to obtain or renew a restraining order against another party and our attorneys at (619) Divorce can help in scenarios where one party:
- Wishes to remove a child from the state
- Has failed to follow the requirements of a divorce order (i.e. not paying child support or not observing child custody or visitation limitations set by the court)
- Has committed or threatened to commit an act of domestic violence against a spouse, dating partner, family member or another person
There are many different types of divorce-related and domestic violence restraining orders in San Diego, including the following.
Divorce and Child Custody Cases
Two of the most contentious issues in San Diego divorce cases are child custody and the division of marital property, both of which may be disputed in a contested divorce. At the start of every San Diego divorce case, court orders known as automatic temporary restraining orders take effect, and these orders serve the purpose of restraining both parties and preventing them from acting in any way that would harm themselves or the other party in the divorce.
Automatic Temporary Restraining Order
In San Diego divorce cases, an automatic temporary restraining order is issued at the time of the petition and summons and prohibits either party in the divorce from engaging in certain behavior that may be deemed harmful or deceptive, without a court order or written consent from the other party. This type of restraining order prohibits conduct that might be damaging to one or both parties before a divorce has been finalized, including the following conduct:
- Removing a child to another state
- Selling any community property
- Borrowing money and using community property as collateral
- Transferring funds from a joint account to a separate account
- Transferring property to a third party in an attempt to conceal assets
- Removing a spouse or child from vehicle or health insurance coverage
- Changing the beneficiary of or cashing in a life insurance policy
The main purpose of an automatic temporary restraining order in San Diego is to keep both parties involved in the divorce in the same or similar financial situation as they were at the time the divorce was filed, so the court can properly account for community assets and devise a fair and reasonable strategy for dividing the assets between the spouses.
Domestic Violence Cases
Domestic violence can occur on its own in San Diego, but domestic abuse concerns can also arise out of a San Diego divorce or child custody proceeding. The primary goal of a San Diego domestic violence restraining order is to prevent the restrained person from having any contact – verbal or physical – with the petitioner, and such an order will typically prohibit the restrained person from calling, sending messages, harassing, threatening, attacking, or sexually assaulting the petitioner, disturbing the peace of the petitioner, or destroying the petitioner’s personal property. In some cases, a restraining order may include a “stay-away” order, which means the restrained person must remain a specified distance from the petitioner for the duration of the restraining order. The following are the various types of restraining orders that may be issued by the court in a domestic violence case:
Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse perpetrated by one person against a spouse, partner, family member or close relative. Domestic violence is a common issue in San Diego divorce and family law cases, and it is not unusual for an abused spouse to delay filing for divorce or seeking sole custody of the couple’s children because they are afraid their spouse will harm them or their children if they pursue legal action. If you are involved in a contested divorce or child custody case in San Diego, our attorneys can help you file a domestic violence restraining order to prevent any violent encounters from occurring during the divorce and child custody process.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order
A civil harassment restraining order is similar in nature to a domestic violence restraining order, but it can be filed against anyone, not just a spouse, partner or close family member. This type of restraining order can be obtained to protect the petitioner from persistent and malicious harassment, abuse, stalking or threats that are causing him or her to feel frightened or annoyed.
Emergency Protective Order
An emergency protective order is a restraining order that can only be requested by law enforcement. This type of court order goes into effect immediately and can last as long as seven days. To provide the petitioner with further protection, a temporary or permanent restraining order must be requested.
Temporary Restraining Order
A temporary restraining order typically lasts for two to three weeks or until a hearing is held to discuss the situation before a judge, and this type of protective order prevents the restrained person from contacting the petitioner or residing in the marital home.
Permanent Restraining Order
Once a temporary restraining order is issued and a hearing takes place, the judge will determine whether the temporary restraining order should be made permanent. Despite the name, permanent restraining orders aren’t actually permanent. They typically last between three and five years, unless the petitioner requests an extension or requests that the order be implemented permanently.
Criminal Protective Order
A criminal protective order is often issued during the course of a domestic violence case, to protect the alleged victim in the criminal case. Criminal protective orders typically include “stay-away” orders, which prohibit the restrained person from going near the petitioner throughout the duration of the case and then after, if there is a conviction.
Consequences of a Restraining Order
Temporary restraining orders are relatively easy to obtain in San Diego, and it is not unusual for an angry or vindictive ex-spouse to get a court order to limit a parent’s access to his or her children or to embroil the individual in a damaging, albeit untruthful, domestic violence dispute. If a temporary restraining order becomes a permanent order, you could suffer a number of serious repercussions affecting your personal and professional life, including the following potential consequences:
- Child custody – A restraining order could cause you to lose your child custody or visitation rights
- Loss of future employment and housing opportunities – Any potential employer or landlord who runs a background check on you will see the restraining order, which means you could be restricted in your future employment and housing opportunities.
- Loss of gun rights – Most domestic violence restraining orders result in a loss of gun rights for the restrained individual
- Immigration consequences – If you are in the process of obtaining legal immigration status, a restraining order could prevent you from doing so
If you are served with a domestic violence restraining order and you violate the terms and conditions of the order, you could face charges in criminal court. If a restraining order was issued against you on the basis of false statements, your first course of action should be to contact an experienced attorney who can help ensure that your side of the story is heard in court. Only with a knowledgeable lawyer on your side can you adequately protect your legal rights and clear your name.
Defense of Individuals Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a serious crime and allegations of domestic violence are taken extremely seriously in San Diego. Legitimate victims of domestic abuse incidents deserve our compassion and protection. However, it is not uncommon for individuals involved in divorce and child custody disputes in San Diego to use false accusations of domestic violence to gain an unfair advantage in court. Not only can false accusations of domestic violence damage your relationship with your children, they can also result in criminal charges and cause significant consequences in other aspects of your life. If you are found guilty of domestic violence in San Diego, you could end up in jail, lose custody of your children, and your freedom and future could be at stake. At (619) Divorce, we take action to protect the rights of individuals falsely accused of domestic violence by former spouses or partners attempting to leverage issues in a San Diego divorce or family law case.
How a San Diego Restraining Order Lawyer Can Help
Restraining orders are controlled by the court and it is imperative that you understand the consequences of violating a restraining order, which for an automatic temporary restraining order in a divorce case, may include fines, jail time and other severe penalties that could affect your marital property division agreement or your child custody and visitation rights. If you are in the middle of a divorce in San Diego, you need an attorney on your side who has a clear understanding of California divorce law and the potential impact of domestic violence and restraining orders on your case. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence in San Diego and served with a restraining order that puts your future and reputation at risk, we can help you gather the evidence you need to set the record straight. Whatever your restraining order needs, our knowledgeable and skillful attorneys at (619) Divorce can provide honest, competent and aggressive legal representation throughout the duration of your case.
Consult Our San Diego Restraining Order Lawyers
Divorce and family law proceedings in San Diego tend to be emotionally charged, and even the most amicable cases can end up being contentious and possibly even dangerous when child custody, child support and other family issues are called into question. If you are in need of a restraining order in San Diego, or if you have been targeted by an unnecessary restraining order filed by an angry or resentful spouse, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. A restraining order can have a significant impact on your divorce case, and failing to comply with an automatic temporary restraining order or another court order can have serious adverse consequences. Attorney Steve Smith and our legal team at (619) Divorce are committed to protecting the rights and assets of our clients in divorce, and we can help you successfully pursue a restraining order or defend against one. Contact our San Diego restraining order lawyers today to discuss your legal options.